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 Post subject: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 211
Location: New York
Have I been living under a rock?

Doing a little digging around, I noticed that the Alco 251 is no longer listed on the Fairbanks Morse web site. They used to have a dedicated page to that product as late as 2017. I sent an email to corporate trying to find out if the 251 has been removed from their catalog, or is no longer supported...

Here's one of the last entries I could find from 2017:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170923191 ... -alco-251f

-otto-

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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Philadelphia, PA
This is interesting since USCG still has cutters in service with 251's.

FM's page does not show new 251's but they offer a 251 overhaul course. The Parts and Service page shows "Contact Us Today" so if you have a 251 that needs new OEM parts, contact them.


Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 210
I believe they've ceased new production due to no demand, but are still providing replacement parts.

CD


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:18 am
Posts: 178
Sad to hear that you can no longer get a new-build 251. I wonder how this will play out with All-Alco roads like the Livonia Avon and Lakeville or Genesee Valley Transportation. While they do have a dearth of parts units for both lines, if a locomotive breaks a block, will it be the end?


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1549
Location: Southern California
A Google search shows up a few firms supplying parts or components:

Hatch & Kirk Serves Marine and Rail needs from several locations. Also H&K says that it acquired the Cleveland Diesel line from GM back in 1977 and is still OEM for this line, selling worldwide.

Turbo Parts World says that it supplies 251 parts. Appears to primarily involved with turbochargers.

The Google search shows other firms. Included is an Indian licensee selling worldwide.

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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:41 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 8:09 pm
Posts: 347
Hatch & Kirk is also the OEM for the EMD 567. H&K is in the process of moving and consolidating their operation in Illinois.

I have heard from more then a few operators of both Alco and FM engines, and they NEVER used FM unless it was a dire need for specialty parts. Plenty of other part suppliers, at much better prices.


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 192
FM's largest customer for the 251 engine was the U S Government. It is hard to sell to the government with all their specifications.

I purchased some surplus 251 cylinder liners from government a year ago. They were unused and had been in storage. The government has a shelf life for parts, then they sell those off and purchase new, which may sit on the shelf as well.

The government purchased the liner for $1,800 each. I can purchase American made liners for around $600. each.

FM has priced their selves out of the market. Alco 251 blocks are very durable and there are many on the market.


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3342
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
I'm not sure if this would be of any help for people looking for 251 parts, but apparently the railways of India still use Alco designed products, and if the Wikipedia entries are correct, whole new Alco locomotives built under license are available there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALCO_DL560C

The same firm that builds these Alcos also builds EMD power under license as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_Locomotive_Works

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cit ... 148718.cms

No mistaking the sound and the smoke--and on top of that, trespassing issues that make ours look lame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwa8jP9fa1Y

EDIT: According to the caption with this video, Alco production has ceased in India, at least partially due to smoke complaints and concerns. However, the railroads there are attempting to extend the lives of the Alcos already in service with improvements to cut down on the exhaust.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBSXXpAmrrw


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:01 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1549
Location: Southern California
Here is the Indian firm I found going a search for "Alco 251 parts":

Mikura International

The firm says:
Quote:
We represent many leading ISO/QS/TS quality certified Indian companies who are approved vendors/ suppliers to OEMs likes DLW (Indian Railways) and EMD for export of fully machined quality engine parts for ALCO, EMD, GE engines.

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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:25 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
Posts: 192
Quote:

"EDIT: According to the caption with this video, Alco production has ceased in India, at least partially due to smoke complaints and concerns. However, the railroads there are attempting to extend the lives of the Alcos already in service with improvements to cut down on the exhaust."

I have watched the videos on Youtube of the India Alco locomotives smoking. Part of their problem is how they throttle up these locomotive to maintain the schedule they are trying to maintain. They are running high speeds, which means high axle gearing and 18 car trains that are loaded with people. Try doing that with one GE locomotive on Amtrak and see if it smokes.

I was also told once by someone with knowledge of the India Railways, that the diesel fuel that they burn is not up to the standards that with use here in the USA.

So many people think that all Alco locomotive have to smoke, they do not. It comes down to how you maintain and operate the locomotives. Many train crew put on smoke shows, by advancing the throttle too fast and before the turbo has a chance to catch up.

I was at one railroad some years ago, that was running some Alco locomotives. One of the locomotives had slim all over it's carbody. I ask them why they did not replace the diesel engine injectors and was told they did not need to be. A few months later I was at their shop and they were pulling the injectors. The mechanic threw an injector down on the floor, which I picked up, so I could look at the openings in the tip. The holes in the tip were so big, that I could stick a number 2 pencil lead in the openings. This was in no way properly antimozing that diesel fuel.

Fuel systems need to be properly maintained and if not they are going to waste fuel.

I was at the Railroad Supply Convention in Indianapolis last fall and talked with the people from Globle Turbocharger that purchased the rights to the Alco turbochargers. They had a new impeller design to help the turbo at lower speed.


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:59 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3342
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
AlcoC420 wrote:
Quote:

"EDIT: According to the caption with this video, Alco production has ceased in India, at least partially due to smoke complaints and concerns. However, the railroads there are attempting to extend the lives of the Alcos already in service with improvements to cut down on the exhaust."

I have watched the videos on Youtube of the India Alco locomotives smoking. Part of their problem is how they throttle up these locomotive to maintain the schedule they are trying to maintain. They are running high speeds, which means high axle gearing and 18 car trains that are loaded with people. Try doing that with one GE locomotive on Amtrak and see if it smokes.

I was also told once by someone with knowledge of the India Railways, that the diesel fuel that they burn is not up to the standards that with use here in the USA.

So many people think that all Alco locomotive have to smoke, they do not. It comes down to how you maintain and operate the locomotives. Many train crew put on smoke shows, by advancing the throttle too fast and before the turbo has a chance to catch up.

I was at one railroad some years ago, that was running some Alco locomotives. One of the locomotives had slim all over it's carbody. I ask them why they did not replace the diesel engine injectors and was told they did not need to be. A few months later I was at their shop and they were pulling the injectors. The mechanic threw an injector down on the floor, which I picked up, so I could look at the openings in the tip. The holes in the tip were so big, that I could stick a number 2 pencil lead in the openings. This was in no way properly antimozing that diesel fuel.

Fuel systems need to be properly maintained and if not they are going to waste fuel.

I was at the Railroad Supply Convention in Indianapolis last fall and talked with the people from Globle Turbocharger that purchased the rights to the Alco turbochargers. They had a new impeller design to help the turbo at lower speed.


So true!! I know of an Alco fan in New York who's said very similar things.

And that's also what's in the caption notes with that video!

Quote:
The heavily smoking ALCos causing a major pollution and environmental concern has brought enough criticism to the Railways. Though ALCO production for Indian Railways has already stopped and has completely moved to the Fuel efficient Electromotive Diesels which are less pollutant. The existing ALCos cannot not be scrapped all of a sudden and the Railways are trying hard to maintain them until they reach their codal life and phase them out in batches. The two main reasons for heavily smoking are either due to bad Turbo lag or fuel injector pumps as well as careless operating skills by the Loco Pilot.

Some major steps taken by the Railways to improve the performance of ALCO Diesels (Technical details) :

All Over aged Broad Gauge Diesel Mixed Traffic Engine (WDM2) locos have been withdrawn from mainline service.

Miller cycle based turbochargers and Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) Turbochargers have been developed for ALCo locomotives to achieve fuel efficiency.

Common Rail electronic Direct Injection (CReDI) system has been developed and are being fitted in Diesel Locomotive.

Retro-fitment of Micro-processor control system in diesel Locomotives have been executed to achieve fuel efficiency.

Auxiliary Power Unit has been introduced in Diesel locos for automatic shutting down of the diesel locomotive while standing idle.

Use of B-5 blended High Speed Diesel (HSD) with 5% Biodiesel in the Diesel Locomotives

Steel capped pistons: In the fuel efficient engine, peak firing pressure likely to exceed
1800 psi and thus steel cap pistons are required to be used. Use of steel cap pistons
will also result in lower lube oil consumption..

High efficiency Turbo Charger: Existing 720 turbo chargers being replaced by high
efficiency ABB VTC 304/ NAPIER NA 295 turbo chargers having capacity to develop
2.2kg/cm2 air pressure/ booster pressure.

_______________________________________________________

Train : 12726 Dharwad - KSR Bengaluru
SIDDANGANGA Intercity Express.
Locomotive : Eco-friendly WDG3A 14647 & Shakti 13637.
Location : Soldevnahalli, Karnataka.


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:29 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:31 am
Posts: 1170
Location: South Carolina
^ That's an impressive list of upgrades if they're really doing all of them.

Edit- and thanks to google, I now understand the Miller Cycle.

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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 11:22 am
Posts: 86
Location: Northeast Pa.
Did anyone else notice that the trespassers in the video were using the side of the right of way as a "dumping" ground? Also the trucks on the loco hunting side to side at the 1:54 plus mark of the video. Like others have said maintenance and the way you operate have allot to do with diesel smoke.


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 Post subject: Re: Does FM no longer support the Alco 251?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:58 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3342
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
baldwin wrote:
. . .the trucks on the loco hunting side to side at the 1:54 plus mark of the video.


You can not only see the hunting, you can hear it, too, coming from the rails before the locomotive reaches the photographer.


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