Alco v EMD

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Fred_M, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Skimmed through it - But will read it later, looks great so far!! :) Thanks Fred!!!
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Just finished reading thru this, it is interesting but omits a major factor. While Alco was slow to realize diesels held the future and therefore wasn't as far along in diesel loco development as it might have been, it was in good position prior to the start of world war 2. The article mentions that during the war, diesel production was curtailed, but this is not entirely true. EMD was allowed to continue producing diesels while Alco, Baldwin and Lima were told to build steam. The idea was to make most efficient use of raw materials and new designs were not permitted. So while Alco was building steam, EMD was contimuing to build the diesels which had been in production, mostly FT's and sawitchers, I believe. However, EMD did have the benefit of advancing their designs even if they did not immediately build new designs. So when the restrictions were removed, EMD had pretty much perfected their locos, while Alco had a lot of catching up to do. They never really did, obviously.

  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I'm not the author Gary, but I got the feeling that the author was writing a thesis supporting his supposition that management was responible for their ultimate demise. Of course you are right about the goverments role in this as I believe they only allowed "proven" design locomotives (no research and development was allowed :)) to be built during the war and allowed EMD to build the diesels which they had designed and built before the war but only allowed Alco (and Baldwin and FM) to build steamers. He mentioned this but downplayed it as it didn't directly support his thesis. IE... maybe he spun it, or maybe another leadership at Alco could of saved it. GE stabbing them in the back didn't help much either. Still, it was an interesting read I thought. Fred
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Fred, yes, I got the same impression. Sure did use the "culture of management" often, and the bibliography at the end is loaded with references to it as well. And a valid point even if overemphasized. It would have remained valid even if he had included other factors in a bit more detail. That EMD was able to produce diesels while Alco couldn't did make sense in light of wartime production requirements, but it certainly put EMD way ahead in development.

    And while the author states that Alcos dependence on GE's electric components wasn't a negative factor, I can't agree. Early Alcos suffered from electrical problems tho I don't know how much of those problems were due to Alco or GE. I do think Alco should've seen GE as a potential competitor and been prepared to use an alternate supplier, preferably expanded into that area themselves. But that is secondguessing, I suppose.

  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys,The truth of the matter is Alco was low reliability and high maintenance whereas EMD was high reliability and low maintenance and this said the railroads was unacceptable.Now GE pulled out of their relationship with ALCO due to the railroads complaining to them about ALCOS and the fear that ALCO would ruin GE's name because of the maintenance problems ALCO was having with their line of locomotives..Of course the railroads would continue to buy ALCOs in order to keep EMD from dominating the market.When GE release the U25B this give the railroads another option and GE became the number 2 builder while ALCO slip into third place.So ALCO in a attempt to regain its market share introduce the Century line of locomotives.Of course these units failed to regain ALCO's market share due to the Century's being problematic..

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