By Brian Solomon
As soon as the second-largest steam locomotive builder within the united states, American Locomotive corporation (Alco) produced 75,000 locomotives, between them such well-known examples because the 4-6-4 Hudsons and 4-8-4 Niagaras outfitted for the recent York primary, and the 4-6-6-4 Challengers and 4-8-8-4 enormous Boys equipped for the Union Pacific. Alco Locomotives is the 1st booklet to inform the complete tale of this corporation vital to American railroad history—and loved by means of railfans for its wealthy history and its underdog charm. famous rail historian Brian Solomon seems to be again on the founding of Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1848 and proceeds to hide that company’s merger with a number of smaller locomotive developers in 1901 to shape Alco. Solomon describes the locomotives that made Alco’s identify all over the world, from the normal designs like Mikados, Atlantics, and Mallets to the extra robust and flashy post–World struggle I versions. His special, richly illustrated narrative re-creates the drama of a tricky, bold corporation within the American tradition—rising many times to the calls for of an ever-changing and economic system. Solomon additionally covers Alco electrics (built in partnership with GE), in addition to the company’s winning and quirky diesel choices, together with the RS-2 and RS-3 street switchers, FA/FB highway freight devices, PA highway passenger diesel, and the wares of Canadian associate Montreal Locomotive Works. Enlivened through various historic images, sleek pictures, curious information, and firsthand money owed, this historical past is a whole, attention-grabbing, and becoming tribute to a real icon of yank railroading.
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Here was a living, breathing locomotive, all heat and steam and cinders, dripping water and smelling of smoke and hot metal. But elation may have turned to alarm when vented steam suddenly hissed from the safety valve, invoking fears of bursting boilers. Unlike the other entries, Rocket had been designed and constructed in a purpose-built locomotive factory, with the best facilities and most experienced work force in the land. As a consequence she was essentially finished several weeks before the start of the trials, allowing time for a day’s testing on the track at Killingworth Colliery before being shipped to Rainhill.
One of those with whom they had legal dealings was Richard Trevithick, the man who initiated the great leap forward from low- to high-pressure steam engines. Trevithick was a powerfully built Cornishman with clear blue eyes and a free and lively spirit. He was 6 ft 2 in. tall, with broad shoulders, and it was said he could throw a 14 lb hammer clean over the engine-house chimney of the tin mine where he worked as a youth. He had a natural talent for machines, and was soon erecting atmospheric engines in mines throughout much of Cornwall.
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Alco Locomotives by Brian Solomon