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N Scale - Con-Cor - 0001-002405 - Locomotive, Diesel, Alco DL-109 - Milwaukee Road - 14A

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Stock Number 0001-002405
Original Retail Price $45.98
Brand Con-Cor
Manufacturer Kato
Body Style Con-Cor Diesel Engine DL-109
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, Alco DL-109 (Details)
Road or Company Name Milwaukee Road (Details)
Reporting Marks MILW
Road or Reporting Number 14A
Paint Color(s) Maroon, Orange and Gray
Paint Scheme Hiawatha
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 1982-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype Alco
Model Variety DL-109
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Specific Item Information: Actually DL-107. MILW purchased two DL-107.

Model Information: Con-Cor first released this Kato-manufactured model in 1982. In 1995, Con-Cor produced a second release, this time manufactured in China. Unlike many Chinese retoolings, this one is essentially a 'clone' of the Japanese version and if you lift off the shell you will see the mechanisms of the two are pretty similar. To determine which version you have, just check the bottom of the fuel tank (where it will say either "Made in China" or "Made in Japan").

Both mechanisms use and older design, but it works reasonably well. The motor is a 5-poler hidden inside a block of metal. The chassis consists of three pieces: one upper half and two lower halve.. All twelve wheels provide pickup and there are no traction tires, with current flowing directly from the metal truck assemblies into the electrically isolated lower frame halves without the use of wires. Apart from the metal worm gears, all the rest of the gearing is plastic. Eight of the twelve wheels are geared. Couplers are truck-mounted Rapidos. A directional headlight is wired to the front of the chassis.

As there are only negligible visual differences between DL-105, DL-107 and DL-109, Con-Cor produced only one model as DL-109 to stand in for all three types. The DL-109 was the by far the largest run of the series with a total of 62 built. Unpowered dummy "A" units with directional lighting were also available for all released road names, although no "B" (DL-110) units.

DCC Information: No provision for DCC in either release.

Prototype History:
The ALCO DL-109 is one of six models of A1A-A1A Diesel locomotives built to haul passenger trains by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) between December, 1939 and April, 1945 ("DL" stands for Diesel Locomotive). They were of a cab unit design, and both cab-equipped lead A units DL-103b, DL-105, DL-107, DL-109 and cabless booster B units DL-108, DL-110 models were built. The units were styled by noted industrial designer Otto Kuhler, who incorporated into his characteristic cab (US Patent D121,219) the trademark three-piece windshield design. A total of 74 cab units and four cabless booster units were built.

Alco's DL-109 marks their early entry into the passenger diesel market in 1940. With its sleek lines, knife-edged nose and long wheelbase, it was ideally suited for high-speed service, and with 2,000 horsepower under the hood, it could handle passengers or high-speed freight with ease. Because of its dual-service capabilities, Alco was allowed to construct the DL-109 in the face of wartime restrictions on passenger-only locos, and the units performed admirably round the clock, handling passengers during the day and freight trains at night. Using lessons learned with the DL-109, it was succeeded by the PA-1 in 1946. Full data sheet on The Diesel Workshop.

Read more on Wikipedia.

Road Name History:
First of all, Milwaukee Road has only ever been a popular nickname. The real name from 1874 was Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul. For the next 36 years, the CM&StP linked Chicago with Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Wausau, the Twin Cities, Duluth, Kansas City and Omaha with a dense network of branches in Wisconsin, Iowa, southern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. Essentially, the lines ended at the Missouri River.

With a dearth of friendly western connections, CM&StP decided to build their own line to the Pacific. The original target was the bustling megalopolis of Eureka, California. However, they built toward Seattle instead. In 1909 the line opened. Along the way, they served Miles City, Lewiston, Great Falls, Harlowton and Butte, Montana; Avery, Idaho; and Spokane, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. In 1912, they began to electrify two long segments, Harlowton, Montana to Avery, Idaho and Othello, Washington to Tacoma.

In 1921, they leased the Chicago Terre Haute & Southeastern and a bit later the Chicago Milwaukee & Gary to reach the coal fields of southern Indiana. Both roads were in trouble and dragged the CM&StP into receivership. In 1928, they emerged with a small name change. It was now the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific. Right after that, the nickname “Milwaukee Road” began to catch on.

The three Class One’s that already served the Pacific Northwest, Northern Pacific, Great Northern (along with their jointly owned minion Spokane Portland & Seattle) and Union Pacific were not pleased with their new neighbor and avoided building interchanges with them unless absolutely necessary. This left Milwaukee to haul whatever traffic they could originate or terminate on their own line or via a hand full of shortlines with which they interchanged. This is why when you see photos of Milwaukee Road trains west of the Dakotas, an exceptionally large majority of cars are lettered for Milwaukee Road.

Milwaukee’s steam fleet is generally quite handsome beginning with the period after WWI. Many locomotives were built in their own shops. The steam era came to an end on the Milwaukee in 1957.

The electrified lines were ruled by boxcabs and Bi-Polars for decades. In the 1950’s, Little Joe’s diverted from the Soviet Union arrived on the Milwaukee (and the South Shore.) By the late 60’s diesels began to regularly invade the electrified lines. Little Joes and diesels were MU’ed. The aging catenary could only handle so many electrics at a time so diesels filled the horsepower gap. By 1972, falling traffic, a declining fleet of serviceable electrics and the deteriorating catenary caused Milwaukee Road to de-energize the western lines lines with Avery to Harlowton lines following two years later.

Meanwhile on the east end, as a condition of the 1971 merger of Monon into L&N, Milwaukee Road received trackage rights from Chicago to Louisville. This gave Southern a friendly connection to Chicago it was losing with Monon.

In 1977, Milwaukee Road entered receivership again. This time, radical restructuring was needed. In 1980, everything west of Miles City, Montana was abandoned. Some lines were picked up by connections or spawned new shortlines but nearly 1,000 miles of track was pulled up. In 1982, Miles City to Ortonville, Minnesota was abandoned. Milwaukee was concentrating on their pre-1909 routes plus the new line to Louisville.

In an attempt to win back middle distance TOFC traffic, Milwaukee began running fast and short piggyback trains, usually behind a single SD40-2 and with a dozen or so 89’ flats. Unit coal trains added to the bottom line. By the mid-80s, the streamlined Milwaukee Road was up for sale and Grand Trunk Western, Chicago & North Western and Soo Line got into a bidding war. GTW had diverted 40,000 cars onto Milwaukee Road between Chicago and Duluth to help them turn a profit in 1983. Ironically, the ICC (which controlled mergers at the time) pushed GTW out of the contest leaving just C&NW and Soo. Furious, GTW diverted their 40,000 carloads off the Milwaukee. C&NW outbid Soo, but the ICC chose Soo Line anyway. Milwaukee Road merged into Soo Line in 1985. Almost immediately, Soo shops began painting big black rectangles over MILWAUKEE ROAD on the diesels, giving birth to the “bandit” paint scheme.

Paint Scheme:
From 1947-1961, the Milwaukee Road Olympian Hiawatha ran passenger excursions between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest, operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.

The Olympian Hiawatha took scheduled excursions through scenic Idaho, Montana's Bitterroot Mountains, and Washington's Cascade range. On June 29, 1947, the Milwaukee Road inaugurated its streamlined flagship on a 43-hour, 30-minute schedule. This was advertised as being a "speedliner." The railroad contracted industrial designer Brooks Stevens to design the train consist, which included some unique and signature cars of the Milwaukee Road.

In 1952, the first full-length "Super Dome" cars were added, which included 68 dome seats and 28 lounge seats. The dome area featured seats positioned lengthwise, facing the 625 square foot double-pane windows. Ideal for insulation, and sightseeing.

Brand/Importer Information:
Con-Cor has been in business since 1962. Many things have changed over time as originally they were a complete manufacturing operation in the USA and at one time had upwards of 45 employees. They not only designed the models,but they also built their own molds, did injection molding, painting, printing and packaging on their models.

Currently, most of their manufacturing has been moved overseas and now they import 90% of their products as totally finished goods, or in finished components. They only do some incidental manufacturing today within the USA.

Important Note: The Con-Cor product numbering can be very confusing. Please see here in the article how to properly enter Con-Cor stock numbers in the TroveStar database.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2016-08-08 13:40:39. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-11-22 11:02:52

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