• RS-11 with "very odd General Electric trucks"

  • 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 Allen Hazen
"TRP: The Railroad Press" issue #47 (Oct-Dec 2000 cover date) page 56 has a nice color (dark green and yellow (Grin!)) photo, taken in 1979, of a chop-nosed(*) RS-11 with ... UNUSUAL ... trucks. The unit was originally Monongahela Connecting RR 700, belonging by the time of the photo to another Pittsburgh area line, the Aliquippa & Southern RR.

Caption says it features "very odd General Electric trucks traded in from slug unit #S163." The trucks certainly have a GE industrial switcher look to them: slab-sided, with an outside drop equalizer flush against the slab and small coil springs above the equalizer. At a guess, "slug unit S163" may have started out as one of the big Cooper-Bessemer engined center cabs that GE built for the Monongahela Connecting in the WW II period: perhaps (given the number) the 163, an 1100 hp unit built in 1945. There are photos of the MCRR center cabs in Louis A. Marre's "Diesel Locomotives: The First 50 Years" (Kalmbach 1995: an offshoot of the "Diesel-Spotter's Guide"), pp. 152-154, and the trucks look right.

QUESTION 1: Can anyone confirm this?
QUESTION 2: Did the unit come from Schenectady with these trade-in trucks, or did the MCRR make a truck interchange later?
QUESTION 3 (connecting with many previous t.m. inquiries!): what model traction motors did the MCRR center cabs have? (726 comes to mind as a possibility for relatively high horsepower units in the early 1940s: the 726, the immediate design predecessor of the 752, was used -- according to some sources -- on dual-service Alco Dl-109 units, and after the war on the first FA/FB-1 and RS-2.)
QUESTION 4: For the sort of work the MCRR did (MCRR was a subsidiary of Jones & Laughlin Steel, and basically switched their Pittsburgh mill(**)), I'd want the heftiest traction motors I could get, and I suspect the 726 and 752 were dimensionally close enough that 752 motors would fit easily into a truck designed for 726: would these elderrly trucks have had their original motors in them by 1979?
(*) Built in 1957, so the low nose is a later ... subtraction. Photo caption says the nose job was done by the MCRR.
(**) For younger readers: there used to be an American steel industry, and steel mills in Pittsburgh. The J&L plant, on the north bank of the Monongahela River just east of downtown, was the last active steel mill inside the city limits.
  by EDM5970
Sorry I can't answer any of the questions, but I was aware of this unit; I bought a slide of it on eBay some time ago. One thing I noticed for the first time from the attached images, the windows on the new cab end sheet look like they were sourced from an EMD parts catalog!
  by Allen Hazen
Thank you! The only photo of the unit I found on the WWWeb (in the MCRR section of George Elwood's "Fallen Flags") had it behind a chainlink fence, making it hard to see details of the trucks. The photo from "Dons Depot" looks as if it may be the one published in "TRP" that I saw.
Could be. My initial suspicion would be that parts used in the rebuilding were sourced, as much as possible, from what was lying around behind the MCRR diesel shop. I know the MCRR had standard Alco switchers (in addition to their oddities), and the two arched windows over the short hood look about the same shape as the windows over the hood on an Alco S-1/2/3/4.
  by EDM5970
Allen, your sense of proportion is better than mine. On closer inspection, they DO look more like Alco switcher and RS-1 windows than EMD. I wonder why they went with such a complex shape, though. If they were working with a blank sheet of paper -or in this case steel- it seems that a simple pair of rectangular windows would have been easier to install. Or did they have that cab end sheet in stock, maybe from a scrapped unit or a wreck? Curious-
  by Leo_Ames
Came across a news picture of this unit in the December 1957 issue of Trains and ended up here as I searched for a clearer picture. Anyways, it sounds like it may be of interest to post what the caption of this picture says.
Trucks of a retired unit of Monongahela Connecting Railroad, Pittsburgh, Pa., were adapted for use under chassis of road's new DL-701, 1800 h.p. all-purpose Alco road-switcher.
Interesting locomotive. Do we know the ultimate fate of her?