The biggest ALCO?

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The biggest ALCO?
Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, March 08, 2018 7:16 PM

OK, Big Boys, Challengers and even RS11's may be nearer and dearer to the hearts of everybody on this forum, but did you know about these ALCO products?

These are V16 251C engines and the vehicle in question has two per 1000kw generators which power 16 traction motors and were delivered in 1965.

Do you know what they're used for?  Big Smile

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Posted by Miningman on Thursday, March 08, 2018 9:23 PM

You can never find an Overmod when you need one!

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, March 08, 2018 9:46 PM

I'm not sure what it might be (a missile transporter?) but I doubt that it was as big as the US Navy's "Newport" class LSTs which had six Alco 16-251s for propulsion, three per shaft, and at least three 8-251s for on board power.

Two of the "Newports" had EMD 645s instead...

Peter

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Posted by erikem on Thursday, March 08, 2018 10:13 PM

The "Mammoth Crawler" originally used to move the Saturn V/Apollo and its associated launch platform from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pads at Launch Complex 39. Later used for the shuttle.

I remember reading an April issue of Road & Track where they did a "road test" of said beast.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 09, 2018 2:04 AM

Penny Trains
These are V16 251C engines and the vehicle in question has two per 1000kw generators which power 16 traction motors and were delivered in 1965.

Penny, I think you have that backward; it's two 1000kw generators per 252 (there are just under 750 watts in a horsepower when you are estimating)

I confess I like the picture of this engine room in a recent MR thread taken looking 'the other way' with an attractive young lady providing additional interest.

They're being replaced with these:

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 09, 2018 5:39 PM

They say that "Mammoth Crawler" created one hell of a stir when the delivery crew drove it down US 1 to the Kennedy space Center!

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Posted by Penny Trains on Friday, March 09, 2018 6:30 PM

erikem
The "Mammoth Crawler" originally used to move the Saturn V/Apollo and its associated launch platform from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pads at Launch Complex 39. Later used for the shuttle.

Ding ding ding!  We have a winner!  Big Smile

They'll be used next for the Orion program:

40 years?  Not a bad run for ALCO's.  Big Smile

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Posted by erikem on Saturday, March 10, 2018 10:53 AM

One of the details I remembered from the R&T "Road Test" was that the Crawler was powered by a pair of Alco engines. In line with the April 1st theme of the article, the author(s) were having a bit of fun with the purpose of the crawler and ending the article stating that it was used to move condominiums around. Funny thing was that the condo looked like a Space Shuttle....

With the first Saturn V llaunch in 1967 and the last shuttle flight in 2011, the Alco's were in use for at least 45 years.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, March 10, 2018 11:17 AM

Have to admit that is pretty darn amazing. I did not know what powered those crawlers. Thanks for this Penny ...excellent information and pics. 

M636- 3 of those per shaft..Wholly Mackinaw! Follow up questions for you-- how do they determine 3? If it were 2 would the shaft driving the propellers be substantially different ( slower)...and how do they connect three of them powering one shaft/propeller. 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 10, 2018 11:25 AM

Perhaps interesting: I believe that even though the Super Crawler mods involve the new Cummins engines, the 'revised' design still features upgrades to the 'Alco E1/E2 Engine Panels' so the heritage survives.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 10, 2018 5:55 PM

Now the really important question...

When they start that thing up, do they get the traditional ALCO smoke?

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Posted by AgentKid on Saturday, March 10, 2018 6:00 PM

I bet you they can see the exhaust cloud from space!

Bruce

 

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, March 10, 2018 6:22 PM

Firelock76
When they start that thing up, do they get the traditional ALCO smoke?

Not that I can see.  But the load came on and off very gradually, whether for hydraulics or movement...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQCb1j9nftU

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Saturday, March 10, 2018 6:39 PM

Firelock76

Now the really important question...

When they start that thing up, do they get the traditional ALCO smoke?

 

I'm sure they did back in the 60's.  Wink

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:45 AM

Penny Trains
I'm sure they did back in the 60's. 

But the clip I provided IS from the 1960s, chosen to forestall precisely that possibility.  And has the launch stack loaded, in case that made a difference with the smoke.

Mind you, that doesn't rule out a certain amount of cold smoke at starting, but I don't think that is the burning-of-Rome overfueling smoke that most of us know and love in association with Alco power...

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Posted by Fr.Al on Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:03 PM

I think the PA'S were famous for smoking. Maybe that's why the late DPM dubbed them "honorary steam locomotives."

    Anybody recall the photo of two Alcos heading an excursion train in winter, I believe? Not sure if it was in CTM or another magazine. The two Alcos were smoking so much that the photographer almost didn't notice that engine number 3 was a steam locomotive!

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:53 PM

Both the 244 and 251 were prone to smoking, but this was an artifact of the turbocharger design and the main generator/alternator loading rate.

Definitely cured with air motor/overrunning clutch on turbo.  Also by accelerating the engine at part load to just above desired 'run' rpm then loading with governor set slightly high until fuel rack advances at proper exhaust flow through turbine.

Multiple smaller turbos as used in other applications would probably work too, but the economics of this anywhere in the Alco turbo era would not have been good.  (compare the Elliott/AiResearch era on UP)

Whether the CT was jacking or moving, the load would have come on smoothly, hence little smoke.  I would like to see the operations instructions to confirm.  Who here is already a L2 member?

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 4:14 PM

It didn't have to be a PA to smoke, I've got a color book on the Susquehanna published in the early 90's with a shot of some late ALCO's smokin' up a storm on start-up.

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Posted by wanswheel on Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:44 PM
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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:47 PM

Overmod
Overmod wrote the following post 7 hours ago: Penny Trains I'm sure they did back in the 60's. But the clip I provided IS from the 1960s, chosen to forestall precisely that possibility. And has the launch stack loaded, in case that made a difference with the smoke.

Notice the "Wink".  As in "everybody smoked back in the 60's!"  Wink

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, March 11, 2018 9:27 PM

Penny Trains
Notice the "Wink".

missed it completely ... whoooooosh!  But did they inhale?

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Posted by erikem on Sunday, March 11, 2018 11:24 PM

Depends on what they were smoking, e.g. horse manure cigarettes.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, March 12, 2018 10:16 AM

Fr.Al

I think the PA'S were famous for smoking. Maybe that's why the late DPM dubbed them "honorary steam locomotives."

George W. Hilton was responsible for the nickname.  He gave it in a generally favorable review of John Rehor's "The Nickel Plate Story" that appeared in TRAINS.

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Posted by Fr.Al on Friday, March 16, 2018 8:56 AM

Ah, Professor Hilton? I think he and DPM got into a friendly dispute about the all around "average" American railroad. It was either the C& NW or the C&EI. The criteria was that the railroad had the basic three types; 4-6-2's for varnish, 2-8-2's for freight, and 0-6-0's for switching. I think the dispute was over the fact the the railroad in question retained Atlantic types after the had vanished in most other places.

     Back to the Alcos; as I recall the ex-Rutland RS-1's of the VTR of my youth didn't seem to smoke all that much. Here in Western PA, the Oil Creek & Titusville has an old S1 that doesn't smoke that much. Their other engine which I rode behind does smoke quite a bit. I had misidentified that engine as a Geep rebuild, but it's actually from MLW, which was an Alco subsidiary after all☺

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Posted by Fr.Al on Friday, March 16, 2018 9:10 AM

I misspoke myself. They actually have 2 S-2's. For some reason, I can't find the info on their website about the larger MLW engine. Well, I'm still in the 20th century and technologically challenged.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, March 16, 2018 10:15 AM

octrr.org does have a brief history of 75 and 85.  (Note that they say both are 'Alcos'; if one is in fact MLW, you should let them know...) But a better page might be

 
which has pictures and more details.  They show actual Alco c/n for both locomotives.



Sent 

 

 

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