• RS-3s with hood mounted air reservoirs

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by bill8106
Were they delivered from Alco with them or were they retro-fitted by the NYC?
  by clehman
From photos I've seen in books, I believe the air reservoirs were added by the NYC sometime after the RS-3s had been in service a few years. I've seen photos of the same locomotive without the reservoirs on the hood, and later with the reservoirs there. Also, it appears, in my opinion, that NYC planned to increase the size of either the fuel or water tank after they moved the air reservoirs to the hood. Some locomotives have the area where the air reservoir previously was filled out to the edge of the frame. Others do not have this extension. Maybe, again in my opinion, the NYC modified quite a few by moving the air reservoirs to the hood, and extended the underframe fuel or water tanks, but changed their minds about the fuel or water tank extensions, because most of the photos of RS-3s with the air reservoir moved to the hood do not have the fuel or water tank extension. Carl
  by bill8106
Similar observations prompted me to post the question.

I thought that Alco built RS-3s with the air reservoirs on top of the hood, ala EMD with the NYC's torpedo tube GP-9s. I recently realized that not all RS-3s of a given subclass had the hood mounted reservoir and figured that Alco wouldn't build one RS-3 with it on top of the hood and the next one on the line without it, nor would/could the Central place an order like this. Also, the two straps welded to the side frame to support the extra or larger water tank were always suspect to me in that some looked at bit rough around edges, not something I would expect would come from the Alco factory.

Other observations....it seems that all RS-3s (not just the Central's) had a bracket or brace on the top right side of the hood, just ahead of the cab, where (presumably) the Central eventually mounted an air reservoir on some units. I wonder if there was some forsight that a reservoir could be relocated there or was this feature for something else. And not that I've done an exhaustive search but I've haven't seen another RR that rostered passenger RS-3s with reservoirs on the hood.

Regarding later pictures of RS-3s with a gap along the frame where the reservoir and/or water tank would have been, I'm guessing that as RS-3s were downgraded to freight duty, the water tank was removed, hence the gap.