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ALCO proposed locomotive

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ALCO proposed locomotive
Posted by IA and eastern on Monday, February 8, 2021 4:04 AM

ALCO proposed a E1660 locomotive with a 241 engine 2000 hp. Would have looked a RS-1 or a RS-2 or something else. Gary

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Posted by SSW9389 on Monday, February 8, 2021 9:47 AM

It's more likely that specification E1660 was for a 12-241 locomotive rated at 1500 horsepower. The specification is noted here: ALCo World: Specification and Model Numbers - Road Switchers and Transfer Units [1500hp to 2000hp] (railfan.net) And author Richard Steinbrenner writes about this on page 249 of Alco A Centennial Remembrance. There is a conceptual advertising drawing of the RS-2 riding on A-1-A trucks on the same page of Steinbrenner's book. The drawing is similar to a signed drawing done by designer Ray Patten on 10/24/1945. The 16-241 was to be used in a passenger diesel. 

Ed in Kentucky 

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Posted by Overmod on Monday, February 8, 2021 1:14 PM

Leads me to wonder if 1660 was for a 2000hp unit (in the same general intended use as the FM end-cab oddities but with more useful road-switcher arrangement) and this was revised to 12-cylinder 1500hp in 1661.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 7:33 AM

Overmod

Leads me to wonder if 1660 was for a 2000hp unit (in the same general intended use as the FM end-cab oddities but with more useful road-switcher arrangement) and this was revised to 12-cylinder 1500hp in 1661.

 

Author Steinbrenner goes in to some detail about the testing of the 241 engines by Alco. See pages 221-230 of Alco A Centennial Remembrance. Alco produced one two cylinder 241, four 12 cylinder 241s and a single 16 cylinder 241. The bulk of the laboratory testing and road testing was done with the 12 cylinder 241. 
 
Ed in Kentucky 
 
Tags: Alco 241
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Posted by Paul Milenkovic on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 8:48 AM

Can someone fill me on which diesel engine in the ALCo's was the problematic one?  Did it fracture crank shafts or was it something else?

Which era/generation of ALCo's had them?

Was this engine a disaster, or was it just a question of a somewhat statistically higher failure rate?

Did it contribute to ALCo going out of the locomotive business, or was GE's decision to go-it-alone and compete with them a factor?

There was a Trains article on some railroad back East that still ran ALCos and had an ALCo whisperer as their shop foreman -- was it Delaware and Hudson?  Were they working with the "bad" diesel or avoiding it with sticking with earlier or later models?

If GM "killed the electric car", what am I doing standing next to an EV-1, a half a block from the WSOR tracks?
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 1:49 PM

Paul Milenkovic
Can someone fill me on which diesel engine in the ALCo's was the problematic one?

These are the two.  The 241 was 'not ready for prime time' (some of the reasons were covered in the story about the Black Marias) and was replaced by the 244 design.  That was the one with the crank-torsion issue, only in the 16-cylinder passenger engine and ISTR addressed with a firing-order change.  It is also the family that required a more or less necessary retrofit of a better water-cooled turbocharger to replace the air-cooled original design.

There are a number of places on the Web where folks like Will Davis and Allen Hazen discuss the relative detail design of the 244, including a little expensive complexity, fracture-prone injector piping... it was not so much that the 244 was bad as the 251 was so, so, so much better.

Still never got proper charge boosting from the turbo vs. loading rate the whole time Alco built them. I maintain they could have done it with main-reservoir air on the circuit used for the air starter... it would just wake up a few more people in different neighborhoods...

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 9, 2021 5:16 PM

Which era/generation of ALCo's had them?

Was this engine a disaster, or was it just a question of a somewhat statistically higher failure rate?

Did it contribute to ALCo going out of the locomotive business, or was GE's decision to go-it-alone and compete with them a factor?

The 241 never entered production.

The 244 was applied to locomotives from 1946 to about 1955.

Examples were the PA/PB series, RS2, RS3, RSD4, RSD5, all FA series in the USA

GE built a lot of export locomotives with 244 engines, because they were more powerful than the contemporary Cooper Bessemer engine (1600 versus 1200 for the V-12)

Once fitted with a water cooled turbocharger and with improved materials for the crankshaft and bearings the 244 settled down, but the 251 was better. Any Alcos in current main line service will have 251 engines.

The 251 was in many ways a reversion to the 241 design from the more complex 244 design.

One obvious simplification on the 251 was a reversion to "wet" cylinder liners compared to the water jacket  cylinder liners in the 244. It should be noted that EMD adopted water jacket liners in the change from the 567B to the 567C and this was a great improvement for the EMD engine maintained to this day. It was not as important for Alco because there were no inlet air ports in a four stroke.

It is worth pointing out that a number of recent diesel designs, including the MTU 8000 and MAN 28/30, use liners very similar to the 244.

I think Alco could have continued had GE not decided to enter the USA Domestic market, but GE were competing with Alco and EMD in export markets as early as 1952, so GE were unlikely to have ignored their major market for long.

It was GE getting the Cooper Bessemer engine to a competitive power rating that allowed them to compete with both Alco and EMD. The FDL was a better engine than the 251 at any ratings above 3000 HP for the V-16, although cracking of the cast crankcase remains a problem for the FDL. In very heavy duty use, like the Pilbara in Western Australia, a new crankcase is needed every ten years or so, while an Alco engine (or an EMD) could be repaired by welding.

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, February 11, 2021 8:34 PM

There is a conceptual advertising drawing of the RS-2 riding on A-1-A trucks on the same page of Steinbrenner's book. The drawing is similar to a signed drawing done by designer Ray Patten on 10/24/1945.

Having checked page 249, those are not A1A trucks, they are RSD-1 C trucks. They are noticeably not symmetrical as were both RSC-2 ans RSC-3 trucks. So this was a proposed "RSD-2", which never appeared, its place being taken by the RSD-4 with Trimount trucks some time later.

Peter

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