Thursday, January 7, 2010
New book on Alco locomotives
What was notable about the American Locomotive Company? Well for one thing, it produced the world's largest ever steam locomotive (and 'world' in the sense that non-Americans use the term) - Union Pacific's 4-8-8-4 type 'Big Boy's. In fact Alco also produced UP's next largest steam locomotive, the 4-6-6-4 Challengers. In the diesel era Alco's second place to General Motors was gradually usurped by General Electric until finally Alco exited the new locomotive manufacturing business in 1969.
Multiple examples of its product made their way to Australia and one notable locomotive which came to NZ - the Taupo Totara Timber Company's Mallet from 1912- was one of only four Mallets with the 2-4-4-2 wheel arrangement ever built (it is now stored at the Glenbrook Vintage Railway).
This book from one of America's most prolific railway authors is a nicely produced summation of the locomotives that Alco produced, without going much into technical details, and their North American purchasers. The text is supported by some very nice photos in both colour and monochrome. It is available from the transpress shop.