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Differences between FA-1 and FPA-4

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  • Member since
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  • From: Methuen, Taxachusetts
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Differences between FA-1 and FPA-4
Posted by ArtOfRuin on Thursday, June 05, 2008 9:52 AM

What were some of the external spotting differences between the ALCo FA-1/FB-1 and MLW FPA-4/FPB-4? How hard would these differences be to model on an Life-Like P2K FA-1/FB-1? Also, do the P2K FA/FB suffer from the same cracked gear problem as the LL P2K Geeps?

-Jonathan Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel, Is just a freight train coming your way - "No Leaf Clover," Metallica
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Posted by garya on Thursday, June 05, 2008 10:51 AM
 ArtOfRuin wrote:

What were some of the external spotting differences between the ALCo FA-1/FB-1 and MLW FPA-4/FPB-4? How hard would these differences be to model on an Life-Like P2K FA-1/FB-1? Also, do the P2K FA/FB suffer from the same cracked gear problem as the LL P2K Geeps?

They have steam generators, and some of the trim around the windows is different.  I'll check the spotter's guide tonight after work.

Here's a picture of Grand Canyon Railroads FPA-4:

I think older runs did have the splitting gear problem, but that was resolved, so newer runs should be ok.

Gary

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, June 05, 2008 12:32 PM

Here's an FPA-4 which I built from an old Model Power FA.  The main external differences are the fuel tank, the addition of steam generator equipment on the roof (mine are not quite correct - they're the EMD type), and the added air intake near the rear.  I based this model on photos of the ex-CNR units, which went to VIA, and then to various roads around North America.

 

The Model Power loco needed quite a bit of re-working, as it wasn't really correct for an FA-1 or -2 as built.  I added the extra access panels ahead of the front doors, too.  No cracked gear issues with these ones, and at a combined weight of almost 50 oz., there's not much that these two can't pull. Smile, Wink & Grin

 

I painted mine for one of my free-lanced roads, and used a modified version of the CNR's freight scheme.  The paint is SMP Accupaint, and the striping Accucals, with the roadname done in dry transfers from an alphabet set.

Here are a couple of pre-paint photos:

 

Wayne 

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Posted by garya on Thursday, June 05, 2008 10:20 PM
Nice job, Doctorwayne.

The Spotter's Guide says the FPA-4 is close to an FA-2, the main difference being the additional radiator space below the shutters. The main difference between the FA-1 and the FA-2 is the location of the radiator shutters and the cooling fan, which was moved forward some on an FA-2 to leave space for greater steam generator capacity.

An FA-2 would be a better starting point, if you can get one.

Gary

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Posted by Locodoc on Thursday, June 05, 2008 10:30 PM

We use FPA -4's at Grand Canyon Railway. As far as external differences, I couldn't say, but our engines used to have steam generators with the attendant exhaust stacks on the roof. We have removed them from all but 6776. We also regeared from passenger to freight ratios some years ago, allowing us to pull our full 15 car trains with two units instead of three. We make about 15 - 17 MPH on our rulling grade of 3% with a full train.

I can send some pictures of interiors and exteriors if you want. 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, June 06, 2008 1:42 AM

Thanks, garya.  For me, the FPA-4 is my favourite passenger diesel, by far.  Here's the prototype photos which inspired me to build my two units:

 

And a couple more: 

 

Wayne 

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  • From: Methuen, Taxachusetts
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Posted by ArtOfRuin on Friday, June 06, 2008 7:29 PM
Also, were the FA-1, FA-2, and FPA-4 all the same length?
-Jonathan Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel, Is just a freight train coming your way - "No Leaf Clover," Metallica
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Posted by garya on Friday, June 06, 2008 11:46 PM
 ArtOfRuin wrote:
Also, were the FA-1, FA-2, and FPA-4 all the same length?

Yes, according to the Spotter's Guide.

The main differences were internal--the FPA-4 used an 1800 hp 251B prime mover, as opposed to the 1500 or 1600hp 244 prime mover in FA-1s and FA-2s--and the details doctorwayne mentioned.

BTW, the window trim I mentioned in my first response--I must be thinking of PAs or something else.

Gary

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, June 07, 2008 10:05 AM
If you're thinking about the trim piece behind the cab like on PA1's and PA2's, you're not too far off the mark.  GM&O's FA1's had the same trim piece.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, June 12, 2008 12:42 PM

Craig Rutherford's Diesel Shop gives specifications on the ALCO cab units. See http://www.thedieselshop.us/ and go the the builder section for the specs.

There is a difference in length among all FA/FB units. I use my DSG2 for a door stop, it is that useful for accurate data on ALCOs.  

Length FA-1 51' 6"

Length FB-1 50' 2"

Length FA-2 53' 6"

Length FB-2 52' 8"

Length FPA-4 54' 0"

Length FPB-4 53' 2" 

 

 

 

 garya wrote:
 ArtOfRuin wrote:
Also, were the FA-1, FA-2, and FPA-4 all the same length?

Yes, according to the Spotter's Guide.

The main differences were internal--the FPA-4 used an 1800 hp 251B prime mover, as opposed to the 1500 or 1600hp 244 prime mover in FA-1s and FA-2s--and the details doctorwayne mentioned.

BTW, the window trim I mentioned in my first response--I must be thinking of PAs or something else.

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!
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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, June 12, 2008 12:53 PM

GM&O FA-1s #700-736 (and demos #1500, 1502) had the drip strip, #737-754 did not, Steinbrenner pp.254-255. Late PA-2s for MP, Southern, and Espee did not have the drip strip behind the cab, data from Steinbrenner and Strapac.

 CSSHEGEWISCH wrote:
If you're thinking about the trim piece behind the cab like on PA1's and PA2's, you're not too far off the mark.  GM&O's FA1's had the same trim piece.

COTTON BELT: Runs like a Blue Streak!

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