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What were the Great Northern's ALCO FAs used for?

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What were the Great Northern's ALCO FAs used for?
Posted by Great Northern Fan 54 on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 9:36 AM

From what I can tell, the GN's 276-279 set were used in Canada. But I can't find any info on the 310 ABA set

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Posted by DanRaitz on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 10:51 AM

ALCo FA's & FB's #310A,B&C were built in 1950 and traded into GE in 1966.

Great Northern Empire - Then and Now

 

I always understood that GN based all their ALCo's in the Pacific Northwest, to centralize their maintainence.

 

Dan

If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy .... Red Green
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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 2:34 PM

IIRC in GN's promotional film "Empire on Parade" (1962) a set of FAs is pictured working in Montana, but I think the shot is too distant to be able to see an engine number.

Stix
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Posted by Great Northern Fan 54 on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 9:56 PM

What consist are they in?

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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, November 3, 2021 10:38 PM

I think you'll find GN's Alco F's spent a lot of time between Vancouver BC and Portland, on general freight.

 

Ed

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, November 4, 2021 9:26 AM

I seem to recall the Alco F units being widely used on the SP&S RR, and possibly purchased for or by the SP&S.  I don't know the details, but I generally understand the SP&S to have been affliated or even part of GN.  

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Posted by Euclid on Thursday, November 4, 2021 9:36 AM
 
“The post-war SP&S was particularly known for its large fleet of Alco Diesel locomotives.”
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Posted by DanRaitz on Thursday, November 4, 2021 9:41 AM

SP&S was jointly owned by the GN & NP.

Dan

If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy .... Red Green
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, November 4, 2021 9:48 AM

"The Great Northern Railway - A Pictorial History" by Charles & Dorothy Wood says that GN didn't like Alcos once they'd owned them a while due to maintenance issues, and that several Alcos, including two four unit sets of FA were sent to the SP&S in the 1950s.

It does have a couple of pictures of an A-B set of FAs on a freight train in western Montana in 1952, and a couple of pics of 310 A-B-A set "north of Spokane on the Kettle Falls Branch". It notes "Alco freighters, after a brief stint in main line service on the Cascade Division, worked the Kettle Falls Branch for some years."

(SP&S, like CB&Q, was co-owned by GN and NP - each parent railroad owned about 45% of the subsidiaries.)

Stix
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Posted by DANIEL USCIAN on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 10:01 AM
I didn't see one FA-1 in the YouTube video!
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Posted by Backshop on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 7:36 PM

DANIEL USCIAN
I didn't see one FA-1 in the YouTube video!
 

Somebody started their evening libations early, it appears.

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