• ALCO/MLW drawings needed

  • Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.
Discussion of products from the American Locomotive Company. A web site with current Alco 251 information can be found here: Fairbanks-Morse/Alco 251.

Moderator: Alcoman

  by RGlueck
I am looking for scanned drawings for ALCO/MLW FA locomotives, specifically FA1 design. I have searched the web and pulled most of what is probably out there. The thing I need are scans with measurements depicting the roof design, curves etc. I am presently in the middle of constructing a 1/8th scale FA1 for "live Diesel" operation. Please PM correspondence or post here.
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  by RGlueck
Don't everybody respond at once!
  by Marty Feldner
A thought- Alco operating manuals. They contain scale equipment layout drawings that might be sufficient for your needs. I have a few here; there might be an FA in the mix, but they're buried so deep it would take a while to find them. Check Ebay- they're out there, for reasonable prices.
  by Allen Hazen
There are a number of Alco operating manuals (including, I think, one that would cover the FA-1) at George Elwood's very valuable "Fallen Flags" rail image website: by all means check it out. I fear, though, that the drawings may not be detailed enough for someone building a large-scale model.
Something like four FA-1 drawings in HO scale have been published in model railroading magazines I have in my collection: I will try to dig them out and post references in a few days (the house is in a bit of an upheaval after trying to make space to install a new computer...).

Note that FA-1 weren't all completely alike. The first ones, in particular, built for the GM&O, differ in several notable features from later production: if you want to make an accurate model of a particular prototype, look for photos as well as drawings: George Elwood's site is GREAT for that.
  by Allen Hazen
Hmmm... The relevant old model railroad magazines... seem to be deeper in household chaos than expected (but I'll keep looking).
Meanwhile... Kalmbach (the company that publishes Model Railroader) published a book called "The Model Railroad Cyclopedia, vol. 2: Diesel Locomotives" (drawing on articles previously published in the magazine). It contains (HO scale) drawings of an FA-1. Just to prove the point about not all FA-1 having been alike, the drawing shows the early, small, number-board/class-light fittings on the sides of the nose, but two of the photos shown with it show units with the later, angled, number-board boxes on the nose.
HO drawings in model railroad sources don't show all the details that will be visible in a 1/8 scale model, but they have at least some dimensions marked. If you can't find something better, they will perhaps give you a framework which you can fill in with details drawn from photographs.
  by S1f3432
Extra 2200 South Issue 38 ( Jan-Feb 1973 ) has an article about the development of the FA1 with external drawings
as well as cut-away drawings showing internal machinery layout of both the demonstrator and production A units.
Issue 39 ( Mar-Apr 1973 ) has similar info and drawings for the FA2 and FPA4. I seem to recall a substantial article
about the FA's in Trains Magazine but I'm not able to lay my hands on it at the moment. Those with a Trains
subscription may be able to access it online.
  by Allen Hazen
HO drawings of FA-1 are in Model Railroader for February 1969. Railroad Model Craftsman for August 1973 has an article about the detail differences in the first FA-1, built for the GM&O: the article is about modifying a commercially available model of a standard FA-1 to represent this variant, with an undimensioned drawing. (One useful thing here: some of the carboy trusses are visible through the screening at the top of the sides, and the drawing marks their location.)
The two-part Trains article on the FA (both FA-1 and FA-2) mentionedby S1f3432 is in the June and July 1975 issues: lots of photos and some data, but no drawings.
Alas, I fear that none of these are good enough for the purpose of large-scale modelling. Ideally, of course, you would want photocopies of the original Also-GE plans! I think it likely that these have survived, but I'm not sure where you'd go to look for them. I believe that when Alco left the locomotive business, a lot of papers were donated to the library of Union College in Schenectady: a reference librarian there might be able to tell you whether they COULD help you. Another possibility is to find a preserved FA-1 (I think the Railroad Museum of New England, in western Connecticut, and the national Canadian Railway Museum in Delson Quebec (outside Montreal) have FA-1 units) and visit it with cameras and tape measure!
My guess is that the dynamic brake hatch and the circular radiator fan housing -- two of the most prominent roof features -- would be the same on the FA-2 if you can't get detailed images specifically of FA-1.
Sorry I can't be more helpful. Your project of a 1/8 scale FA-1 is marvellous; thanks for posting the under-construction photo in your first post!
  by Flakeroni
Rail Data Exchange ([email protected]) has quite a few high resolution scans of Alco erection drawings in the collection, I know for sure they have the FA-1 and FB-1. Might be your best bet, from personal experience the manual drawings can be less than reliable.
  by RGlueck
Okay guys, some good reference suggestions, and I thank you.
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  by RGlueck
Presently, the model is gaining in weight as steel gets added. Probably will not get the attention I want to give it over the coming winter. I hope to paint it up as a CNR FA1. Right now it weighs about 170 pounds, but when finished, I'm thinking 600 pounds, including trucks, motors, batteries, electronics. That's the target, anyway.
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