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History: The ALCO FA was a family of B-B diesel locomotives designed to haul freight trains. The locomotives were built by a partnership of ALCO and General Electric in Schenectady, New York, between January 1946 and May 1959. They were of a cab unit design, and both cab-equipped lead (A unit) FA and cabless booster (B unit) FB models were built. A dual passenger-freight version, the FPA/FPB, was also offered. It was equipped with a steam generator for heating passenger cars.
Externally, the FA and FB models looked very similar to the ALCO PA models produced in the same period. Both the FA and PA models were styled by General Electric's Ray Patten. They shared many of the same characteristics both aesthetically and mechanically. It was the locomotive's mechanical qualities (the ALCO 244 V-12 prime mover) and newer locomotive models from both General Motors Electro-Motive Division (EMD) and General Electric (the partnership with ALCO was dissolved in 1953) that ultimately led to the retirement of the FA/FB locomotive model from revenue service. Several examples of FAs and FBs have been preserved in railroad museums, a few of them in operational status on such lines as the Grand Canyon Railway and the Napa Valley Wine Train. ALCO's designation of F marks these locomotives as being geared primarily for freight use, whereas the P designation of the PA sets indicates that they were geared for higher speeds and passenger use. However, beyond this their design was largely similar, and many railroads used FA and PA locomotives for both freight and passenger.
The American Locomotive Automobile Company subsidiary designed and manufactured automobiles under the Alco brand from 1905-1913 and produced nuclear energy from 1954-1962. The company changed its name to Alco Products, Incorporated in 1955. In 1964 the Worthington Corporation acquired the company. The company ceased trading in 1969.
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Item created by: gdm on 2018-04-16 10:39:54. Last edited by gdm on 2018-04-16 10:45:29
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