Alco promotional photo of AT&SF #51
The Alco PA series locomotives are considered by many to be the most attractive diesel locomotives ever produced. The PA locomotives were built by a partnership of American Locomotive and General Electric between 1946 and 1953. They offered two models, the PA-1 initially followed by the PA-2. Both were powered by Alco’s 16-cylinder 244 diesel engine generating 2,000 HP in the PA-1 and 2,250 in the PA-2.
The PA locomotives were designed to compete with General Motors’ EMD E-units in the passenger locomotive market. While one could argue the Alcos won in style, they did not win in reliability. Their 244 prime movers could not unseat the EMD 567, and the PAs were demoted to secondary service on many lines. Most were retired as passenger service declined in the 1960s, and nearly all were scrapped.
Happily for railrfans, in 1967 four retired Santa Fe units were bought by the Delaware and Hudson. In 1974, after sevral years of service, they were sent to Morrison-Knudsen for rebuilding and upgrading with Alco 251 V-12 engines. These four units were used on Amtrak’s “Adirondack” for several years and also saw service on Boston area commuter trains under an MBTA lease. All four units eventually ended up in Mexico.
Two of the ex-D&H units have since been brought back to the US, one residing at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas. The other unit is privately owned by Doyle McCormack and is being restored to operating condition painted as Nickel Plate #190.
Rapido’s all-new HO scale model will be the first mass-produced plastic HO scale model of the PA series to feature completely accurate contours and road-specific details. Carbody contours have been generated using a 3-D laser scan of Doyle McCormack’s preserved unit. Both PA-1/PB-1 and PA-2/PB-2 variants will be offered.
Available as single powered A-units or in A+B powered sets
Alco promotional photo of New Haven #773
The Alco PA and PB will feature all-new exclusive TCS sound decoders featuring Rapido's own Alco 244 recordings. These decoders are being customized for Rapido to be fully compatible with our proven range of ESU LokSound decoders, and they feature phenomenal motor and slow speed control.
We are excited to be working with Pennsylvania-based TCS. I've been a personal customer of TCS since the mid-1990s and it's a pleasure to be working with the Forsyth family and the whole TCS team to bring their exceptional sound decoders to the wider Rapido community. We promise you will be impressed.
ESU fans have no fear! We are continuing to use ESU LokSound decoders in many of our sound-equipped locomotives.
Each PA & PB locomotive will have road specefic details applied. Details are listed with each product. You can see a visual representation of the details by clicking the button below.
The order deadline for the Alco PA and PB units is May 25, 2020. Delivery is expected sometime in the Fall of 2020.
by Bill Metzger
Bill Metzger is a resident of Portland and a long-time UP Modeller. In this brief piece, he recounts his experience with the Freedom Train as a young boy. Click the link below to read the story.
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