Alco PA Locomotives - Love 'em or Hate 'em?

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Posted by RAY HEROLD on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 9:25 AM

Personally, I think the PA, as well as the FA are beautiful engines; far better looking than the E series engines. Unfortunately, the only ones I ever saw live were perhaps the best of the best though. The D&H  PA's (all 4) at Whitehall, N.Y. while I was there one day. The blue and silver plated warbonnets were just striking in appearance.

 

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Posted by JOHN HAGGITT on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 1:05 PM

Shock Control

I have read some things online claiming that the Alco PA is the most beautiful diesel locomotive ever.

Personally, I find them ugly.  They look to me like a Bizarro World E7, or like the hellspawn of Satan and an E7.  Or like an E7 that took steroids and showed up at a monster truck rally. 

On the positive side, I do like the top curve over the driver's side window.

What sayest thou?

 

I like the E & F units because of their clean,uncluttered lines - no extra frills or styling tricks.

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Posted by Sunnyland on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 4:45 PM

I like the smoke they put out, some people call them the "steam engine of diesels". First experience with them was riding A&M 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 7:05 PM

Favorite first generation road switcher based purely on aesthetics: RS11.

Why?  I like the little "pinches" at the tops of the hoods.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, March 21, 2019 9:12 AM

RS11's are certainly very muscular-looking, kind of like an RS3 that's spent a couple of months in the gym.

NDG
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Posted by NDG on Thursday, March 21, 2019 2:39 PM
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Friday, March 22, 2019 7:43 AM

In my dim and distant high school days, I remember shooting what may be the last pictures of ATSF 51 and 51A in the scrap line at Pielet Bros. in April of 1969.

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 Victrola1 on Friday, March 22, 2019 7:53 AM

The passenger locomotive market was a moot point by the late 1950's. Nobody made a locomotive with fins like a '59 Cadillac. 

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 6:45 PM

I actually think the modern-day Suburban XL resembles an Alco PA.

Hold up broadside pictures of the two next to each other.

http://www.museumoftheamericanrailroad.org/collection/restorationprojects/projectalcopa.aspx

http://newcarreleasenews.com/2018-chevrolet-suburban/2018-chevrolet-suburban-exterior-wallpapers/

Now we just need someone to paint one with the Santa Fe Warbonnet.

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Posted by Jones1945 on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 3:30 AM

I don't think ALCo PA had anything to do with "ugliness", but two of my favorite early diesel (in terms of aesthetics) in the States are MILW Erie-Built with flute steel sheet around the headlight and  M-10005/M-10006 ( City of Denver of 1940)

 

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Posted by guetem1 on Thursday, March 28, 2019 11:38 PM
I got to listen to an RS-1 switching the docks in Panama City, Panama was a nice sound, decidedly "chuggy" though
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Posted by guetem1 on Thursday, March 28, 2019 11:47 PM
take a look at a modern Cadillac next to an Amtrak Genesis locomotive same designer and you can see it in the lines
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Posted by Lord Atmo on Friday, April 12, 2019 1:56 PM
Personally I think they look pretty cool.

Listen twice, talk once.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, April 12, 2019 7:38 PM

I really doubt GM hired Cesar Vergara to style their Cadillacs. But maybe they did, they've sure been getting ugly in recent years.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Friday, April 12, 2019 8:20 PM

Leo_Ames

I really doubt GM hired Cesar Vergara to style their Cadillacs. But maybe they did, they've sure been getting ugly in recent years.

 

And older gent I worked with years ago who was a car guy used to say as far as cars go "There's nothing uglier than an old Cadillac!" 

"I don't know why that is, they always look good new!"  he said.

He owned a '37 Cord at one time, but that's another story.

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Posted by Lord Atmo on Saturday, April 13, 2019 11:02 AM
Ill also add that I love FA units just as much. I mean they mostly look the same above the trucks. Both neat looking units

Listen twice, talk once.

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Posted by LithoniaOperator on Saturday, April 13, 2019 12:54 PM

PAs and FAs are very attractive engines. But to me, nothing beats EMD Es and Fs.

As for first generation Geeps, I also admire the Alco RS-11; I love the nose treatment on those.

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Posted by ShroomZed on Sunday, December 29, 2019 2:28 PM

Aesthetically my favourite early diesel locomotives were the high-nose GE U25Bs. 

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, December 30, 2019 3:27 AM

I like pretty much all high-hood road-switchers compared to their low-hood counterparts.

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Posted by mudchicken on Sunday, January 12, 2020 10:56 PM

Lithonia Operator

I like pretty much all high-hood road-switchers compared to their low-hood counterparts.

 

Lithonia Operator

I like pretty much all high-hood road-switchers compared to their low-hood counterparts.

 

... left out of the conversation so far were the Alaska RR conversions.

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Monday, January 13, 2020 10:09 AM

Lithonia Operator

I like pretty much all high-hood road-switchers compared to their low-hood counterparts.

 
A high-hood C628 or C630 is definitely an acquired taste, the proportions of a high-hood nose are just not there on those models.
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 Lithonia Operator on Monday, January 13, 2020 3:18 PM

Well, art's in the eye of the beholder. I definitely prefer the high-hood versions of those models, and all other road-switchers where both versions were built.

I just like high hoods. YMMV.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 13, 2020 4:48 PM

By the way, anyone know anything about Doyle McCormack's Alco PA restoration?  He's come an amazingly long way, but things seem to have gone quiet.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 13, 2020 4:56 PM

Flintlock76
By the way, anyone know anything about Doyle McCormack's Alco PA restoration?  He's come an amazingly long way, but things seem to have gone quiet.

To be honest I lost interest when they put the visibly FM trucks on there (and not made the attempt to salvage some sort of Erie-built out of the old rail-grinding train).  To me that's as glaring as putting Little Joe underframes on a GG1.

It'll run, and be kept safe.  It was fun to watch them work on it.  Why ask for more?

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, January 13, 2020 5:24 PM

Oh, the FM trucks don't bother me in the least, Amazon doesn't sell old Alco trucks, and ol' Doyle had to use something.

I was curious because I haven't seen any video of the PA running anywhere, or even photos in "Trains" or other publications, unless I missed them somehow. 

Hence the question.

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, January 13, 2020 6:55 PM

Flintlock76
I was curious because I haven't seen any video of the PA running anywhere, or even photos in "Trains" or other publications, unless I missed them somehow.  Hence the question.

Mr. McCormack retired as president of the museum in March of this year, I think in part to address much of the 'finishing' of this labor of love.

See this clip from Rapido, November 19th, that discusses some of their new PA project.  Asked in the comments whether some of the revenue from PA projects would go toward the restoration, they replied

'We are looking into that right now. Watch our newsletter for an announcement.

Someone who gets the Rapido newsletter might tell us if there's been an announcement.

The engine was visually complete years ago, and was said to be runnable at the time of the Streamliners in Spencer event. My guess is that the remaining work is all relatively small but significant detailing, similar to what needed doing (and to an extent still does) with CSRM's 'rebuilt camera car' Krauss-Maffei.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, January 13, 2020 10:31 PM

How many operable PAs are there? And how many that operate regularly?

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, January 13, 2020 10:35 PM

The most recent newsletter (Dec 25) does not contain anything regarding the PA.

I suspect this is the video you are referring to:

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

I do not subscribe to Rapido's newsletter, but I do check their website on a regular basis:

https://rapidotrains.com/content/rapido-newsletters

Has anyone ever made a Turboliner model before?

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by SD70Dude on Monday, January 13, 2020 10:39 PM

Lithonia Operator

How many operable PAs are there? And how many that operate regularly?

I believe this is currently the only fully operational one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1--v014k50

The EMD FT ahead of it is also operational.  I believe it was rebuilt some years ago with a newer version of the 567 engine.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 9:03 AM

I had no idea that operable PAs were that scarce. For some reason, I was thinking there were one or two in use on dinner trains in the US.

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