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 Post subject: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:11 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2048
With some discussion of Alco RS-1 locomotives on RYPN recently, I will just mention that I recently came across some notes showing a price of $112,000.00 in 1952. For information or amusement as you see fit. If you have better info, please share, original price info is hard to find.

PC


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 7:59 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
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Location: Strasburg, PA
If I recall, SRC #90 cost $36K and change in 1924. The original quote is still in the files.


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 9:41 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
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Quote:
"For information or amusement as you see fit."


In 1952, those would have been Bretton Woods dollars, pegged at $35 to an ounce of gold.

That $112,000 therefore translates into 3200 ounces of gold (they are troy ounces, but for this calculation, the actual 'weight' doesn't factor in).

At the spot price of gold this morning, that makes the price of a comparable RS1 today $7, 366,400, a little more than a modern 125mph dual-mode diesel and electric passenger locomotive like an ALP45DP.

Someone check the prices of EMD passenger locomotives as quoted in Kiefer's survey of motive power (1947). I recall the "Niagara-equivalent" consist being something like $625,000. Now THAT equivalent today (north of $41 million!) is starting to get into CAHSR territory... this puts Brown's paper on steam economy in the early 1960s in a little better perspective.

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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 10:40 am 

Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 12:35 am
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In New York Central Steam Power West of Buffalo, Vol. 1 (Edward L. May, Richard R. Stoving), I recall that it mentioned the price of NYC's lone S2a 4-8-4 #5500 was $292,242.

Adjusting for inflation according to the CPI, that would be nearly $4.9 million today.


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 11:49 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2546
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
S&C 103, original 1925 invoice from Baldwin Locomotive. About $301,500 in 2024 dollars.

Howard P.

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S&C 103 BLW invoice November 1925.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 213
Brooks consolidations built for Buffalo & Susquehanna. To B&O 1/1/32. Then to WAG in 1956. Scrapped shortly thereafter. From Ron Stafford collection.


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 1:27 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2048
Overmod wrote:
Quote:
"For information or amusement as you see fit."


Someone check the prices of EMD passenger locomotives as quoted in Kiefer's survey of motive power (1947). I recall the "Niagara-equivalent" consist being something like $625,000. Now THAT equivalent today (north of $41 million!) is starting to get into CAHSR territory... this puts Brown's paper on steam economy in the early 1960s in a little better perspective.


There was pretty high inflation in the late 1940s, and E7 A-units finished up at $220,000 each, with B-units at $207,000.

PC


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 3:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:48 am
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Location: Byers, Colorado
At the turn of the 19th/20th Centuries, H K Porter was getting more or less $2,000 for a little plantation locomotive weighing more or less 10 tons.

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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 4:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:11 am
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In 1929 Safe Harbor Power Company paid $4,566.25 for HK Porter 0-6-0T. It is number 65 that is currently at Wanamaker Kempton & Southern Railroad.


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2024 5:45 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:03 pm
Posts: 1076
Location: Warszawa, Polska
Overmod wrote:
Quote:
"For information or amusement as you see fit."


In 1952, those would have been Bretton Woods dollars, pegged at $35 to an ounce of gold.

That $112,000 therefore translates into 3200 ounces of gold (they are troy ounces, but for this calculation, the actual 'weight' doesn't factor in).

At the spot price of gold this morning, that makes the price of a comparable RS1 today $7, 366,400, a little more than a modern 125mph dual-mode diesel and electric passenger locomotive like an ALP45DP.

Someone check the prices of EMD passenger locomotives as quoted in Kiefer's survey of motive power (1947). I recall the "Niagara-equivalent" consist being something like $625,000. Now THAT equivalent today (north of $41 million!) is starting to get into CAHSR territory... this puts Brown's paper on steam economy in the early 1960s in a little better perspective.


If you're gonna go there, I'll go there too.

1919
-Ford Model T: US $500
-Gold: $20 an oz
-25 oz of gold to buy the Ford Model T

2019
-Ford Mustang: US $37,500
-Gold: $1500 an oz
-25 ounces of gold to buy the Ford Mustang...

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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 8:26 am 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 2335
You forgot that Bretton Woods was abandoned when Nixon took us off the 'gold standard' circa 1971.

By 2019 you're nearly half a century into fiat 'funny money' territory, so only the 'inflation calculator' sort of adjustment makes any diffference.

The number of 'ounces of gold' represented by that Mustang price would be $37,500 divided by the average spot price of gold in 2019 -- what is interesting is what the 'Bretton Woods' equivalent of that price in $35-the-ounce dollars would be. Very much reflecting the increased effectiveness of modern manufacturing design and production technology...

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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 1:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 1132
Location: B'more Maryland
Overmod wrote:
Quote:
"For information or amusement as you see fit."


In 1952, those would have been Bretton Woods dollars, pegged at $35 to an ounce of gold.

That $112,000 therefore translates into 3200 ounces of gold (they are troy ounces, but for this calculation, the actual 'weight' doesn't factor in).

At the spot price of gold this morning, that makes the price of a comparable RS1 today $7, 366,400, a little more than a modern 125mph dual-mode diesel and electric passenger locomotive like an ALP45DP.

Someone check the prices of EMD passenger locomotives as quoted in Kiefer's survey of motive power (1947). I recall the "Niagara-equivalent" consist being something like $625,000. Now THAT equivalent today (north of $41 million!) is starting to get into CAHSR territory... this puts Brown's paper on steam economy in the early 1960s in a little better perspective.



Ooh, now do it compared to some other industrial materials.

Coal? Iron ore? Lumber? Manure?

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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2024 6:13 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:23 am
Posts: 440
Location: Sheboygan County, Wisconsin
Another example.

Sierra Ry. 65 ton Shay 12 (Lima no. 789) was billed at $11,600.00 that included the option of a steel cab. There were a few other extras added, but these are mixed in with sister 2T Shay 11 (Lima 788) parts.

This was a 1903 product and went to Pickering Lbr. Corp later. She survives today at Niles Canyon, CA.


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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2024 3:59 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:16 am
Posts: 2048
Recently found a 1938 Form A for an Alco HH1000, it shows $83,900 dollars.

PC

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 Post subject: Re: Original Price of Locomotives
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 2:29 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:36 am
Posts: 617
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The Alaska Railroad bought a total of 12 "S-160" War Department Consolidations. As best as I can tell, four were bought initially on the government contract (The ARR was owned by the Federal government at that time.) They were purchased new and modified at BLW from the export configuration to the U.S. configuration. Modifications included knuckle couplers, generator and electric lighting, power reverse, bell, air operated firebox door, and without steam or vacuum brakes. (The Army got a few similarly configured for use at Camp Claiborne and Ft. Eustis.) It appears that the ARR followed up with the purchase of two more under the same contract.

USATC 3523/ARR-557 was also modified by BLW and obtained new, but may have been war surplus.

Prices for the first four and 557 are given on the attached images. The source is a long list of material that the ARR purchased from the Army from July, 1942 to January 1946 which included rolling stock, new and used track materials, and machine tools.


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