[N&W] Re: N&W Alco question

nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Mon May 31 15:25:36 EDT 2004

 > All that weight would try to straighten out curves.

No kiddin!  When I was 8 years old (in 1978) my dad and I visited
Mingo Junction with a friend who knew some people...  (Conrail, to be
sure..., but we're talking about big Alcos!)

We got a turntable ride... and our passenger was a big Alco C636.  As
the turntable operator lined up the track, my dad noticed that the
angle of the approach track was not lined up "dead on" with the table;
a cardinal sin in layout building.

Well, that big ol' Alco rumbled on over the joint, and prompty BENT
the turntable bridge to the appropriate angle... once the first truck
was on the 'table, it snapped back into position, and repeated this
operation for the second truck.

It's a shame that (a) dad didn't have his camera with him for that
trip... because (b) I don't remember much at all of the Mingo visit...
or the 15-mile cab ride to the mine afterward on a GP38 with three
big Alcos trailing..........

Dennis Lippert
 > > Can anyone explain exactly why the big Alco's were hard on the track
 > > or what they did to the track to make them not be liked by management.
 > >
 > >                                      Russell
 >The uneven axle spacing was due to the three traction motors.

Not so.  EMD three-motor trucks used evenly spaced axles.  Early ones had
two motors between two of the axles and a single motor for the other
outboard axle on the other side.  Later ones had all three motors hung in
the same direction, with one motor actually outside the wheelbase.  This was
supposedly to make the torque action on the truck frame more uniform and
combat weight transfer under high torque conditions.

Ed King
 >The LONG wheelbase ALCO truck under the C-628's and the first 5 C-630's
 >was very rigid. It was extremely rough riding and going in to a curve at
 >speed it tended to climb the outside rail and give you a feeling it was
 >going to push the outside rail over and derail the train. The Alco truck
 >had very little "give" or "flex" to it. At low speeds and on yard tracks
 >it was OK, but at speed, look out!

  As far as wheelbase goes, the Alco truck was 150 inches while the F-M
truck was 156" and the EMD truck was 163". It was more likely a case of
the Alco design being taken beyond its natural limits. One wonders what
crews thought of the ex-NKP RSD-5s, as they rode on the same design.

David Thompson
Seems to me that we had a 25mph speed restriction on them. I'd have to look
it up in the timetable to be sure though.
Jimmy Lisle 

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