I didn't mean to raise anyone's hackles.
Well, that's pretty much my point. I don't know of any immortal locomotives. I am a scientist, not in the business. I analyze trends, etc. So the future of the Alco locomotive is probably much like that of all minority locomotives:
1. All major railroads will get rid of them as part of their usual locomotive turnover. This is already completed for Alcos in North America. It is happening now in the rest of the world.
2. Some (usually small) railroads like GVT, DL, and APA will keep them around for a while, until either they die (they aren't worth as much these days and thus a major failure will often sideline them), the railroad is merged or quits, or the administration changes and they favor some other brand. This has been underway for the last 10 years or so and if the trend continues, will proceed over the years.
3. Finally they are all consigned to scrap or museums. This has happened with Lima, and is "just about" true for Baldwin and FM, although there may be a few still in regular service. I am not up on the latest of those manufacturers.
The difference between "factory support" and the current 3rd party support is that the life of that company (or subsidiary) does not depend on operators being happy with their Alcos - the current parts business is just a part of a much larger company. I am not saying that they don't care, just that they probably do not put in as much money and effort as a current manufacturer does in "factory support" of more recent locomotives. This is only natural.
I just wanted to counter what I consider the often overly rosy outlook of many people - often us railfans. Then it won't be such a shock when they go away... Hopefully many Alcos retired in the coming years will go to museums, rather than the scrapper.
PS. I live in California which has seen a virtual disappearance of Alco locomotives, so I might have a little darker opinion than those lucky individuals that live in New York, Pennsylvania, or other areas where they still frequent.
RS-3 wrote:Tom, you're quite into the semantics yourself. "Rebuilds/repairs", *true* "factory support",and the future of ALL locomotives someday is scrap. (Though I don't see what the original factory has to so with "factory support".) I trust you are in the locomotive business yourself?