TS20: First-Generation Gem!
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
The classic and stylish Alco FA diesel freight locomotive is now available for Train Simulator in Pennsylvania Railroad livery!
America’s “first generation” of dieseldom, when diesel-electrics replaced steam en mass, was an era of extraordinary trackside intrigue and variety, with no less than four locomotive builders -Electro-Motive, American Locomotive Works (Alco), Baldwin Locomotive Works, and Fairbanks-Morse – all producing a wide range of locomotives.
Among the diesels produced during the first generation of dieselization, Alco’s freight-service streamlined “FA” series – of which more than 1,200 were constructed – was one of the absolute gems in the eyes of train enthusiasts – and now the classic Alco FA comes to Train Simulator!
The Alco FA cab and accompanying FB booster were designed to compete head-to-head with EMD’s extraordinarily successful “F” series. By mid-1945, the EMD F-unit had evolved to the 1,500-horsepower F3 and Alco positioned itself to match the F3 with the 1,500-horsepower FA1. Powered by Alco’s then-new 244-series 12-cylinder powerplant and equipped with electrical equipment from Alco partner General Electric, the FA introduced a “flat-faced” but nonetheless exceptionally attractive style.
The first FA1s rolled off Alco’s Schenectady (New York) production line in January 1946. Along with a pair of Alco demonstrator units, the early deliveries were destined for the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio. The FA1/FB1 would remain in production through 1950 and account for 694 sales to 24 railroad customers in the U. S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Along with the GM&O, major customers for the FA1/FB1 were New York Central, Union Pacific, New Haven, Erie, Frisco, and Canadian Pacific.
In October 1950, Alco debuted the FA2/FB2, which featured a power increase to 1,600-horsepower. Visually, the FA2/FB2 were very similar to their earlier kin, with the main outward change being placement of the rear radiator shutters. Although not a universal spotting feature, many FA1s wore small number boards while FA2s utilized larger number boards.
The FA2/FB2 remained in production through 1956 and accounted for an additional 528 units sold to 18 railroads. The largest FA2/FB2 buyer was the New York Central, with 130 units purchased and other sizeable customers included Missouri Pacific, Louisville & Nashville, Canadian National, and the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México.
The Pennsylvania Railroad, which had purchased 16 FA1/FB1s between 1946 and 1950, acquired 36 FA2/FB2s in 1951, and the memorable Alco diesels could be most often found working the eastern end of the sprawling PRR system. It was common to see the stylish Alco diesels operating in three- (A-B-A) and four (A-B-B-A) lash-ups as well as, on occasion, in two-unit (A-B) configurations. Pennsy’s FA1/FB1s remained on the PRR roster until 1965, while the FA2/FB2s were retired in 1967 on the eve of the PRR-NYC merger. Interestingly enough, a number of ex-New York Central and New Haven FAs served well into the Penn Central era.
Now, accomplished third-party programme partner DTM brings this long-awaited first-generation diesel gem – in Pennsylvania’s Brunswick Green “single stripe” livery – to Train Simulator! The new DTM pack includes both the PRR FA1/’FB1 and FA2/FB2, each masterfully re-created with great fidelity to details, realistic operating characteristic, and authentic sounds.
Like other remarkable DTM packs, the diesel locomotives are accompanied in this DLC by a distinctive selection of authentic Pennsylvania Railroad freight rolling stock, including PRR’s N5b caboose, X50 boxcar, H30 covered hopper (in multiple liveries), unique K9 steel stock car, and F41 flatcar (with multiple loads including U. S. Army Sherman tanks and Willys Jeeps). And the pack also includes four career scenarios set on the Train Simulator Horseshoe Curve route (route available separately).
Alco’s gem of a first-generation streamlined diesel freight locomotive has now come to Train Simulator – and is available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores! – Gary Dolzall
Among America’s “first generation” of diesels, the Alco freight-service streamlined “FA” series was a gem much admired by train enthusiasts – and now the Alco FA diesel, in the Pennsylvania Railroad’s “single stripe” Brunswick Green livery, is available for Train Simulator! Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Accomplished developer DTM now brings the Alco FA, a long-awaited first-generation diesel classic, to Train Simulator. The DTM pack includes both the PRR FA1/’FB1 (left) and FA2/FB2 (right), each re-created with great fidelity to railroad-specific details, realistic operating characteristic, and authentic sounds. Note: Screenshots depict content still in development.
The Alco FA was designed to compete with EMD’s “F” series. Powered by Alco’s 244-series 12-cylinder powerplant and equipped with electrical equipment from Alco partner General Electric, the FA introduced a “flat-faced” but nonetheless exceptionally attractive style. On Train Simulator Horseshoe Curve route, a trio of PRR Alco FA1/FB1s depart Altoona, Pennsylvania (above), then a short time later swing around scenic Horseshoe Curve (below).
On the west slope of the rugged Alleghenies, an A-B-B-A set of 1,600-horsepower Pennsy Alco FA2/FB2s have tonnage in tow near South Fork, Pennsylvania. Between 1946 and 1956, Alco produced more than 1,200 of the classic FA-series diesel locomotives.
As illustrated by Pennsylvania FA1 9600 at Cresson, Pennsylvania, the DTM pack includes a snow-dressed version of the classic Pennsylvania “single-stripe” Brunswick Green livery (above). From any angle, the FA-series was stylish, as exemplified by PRR FA2 9618 (below).
With the now-available Pennsylvania Railroad Alco FAs from third-party programme partner DTM, you’ll climb aboard a realistic and memorable first-generation cab and operate the locomotive with a range of engineer’s controls.
The PRR Alco FA pack features a superb selection of authentic Pennsylvania railroad freight rolling stock, including PRR’s N5b caboose (above) and H30 covered hopper in multiple liveries (below). The pack also includes four career scenarios set on the popular Train Simulator Horseshoe Curve route (route available separately).
In a timeless Pennsylvania Railroad scene, Alco FA1 9600 leads the way up the east slope of the Allegheny Mountains. Alco’s gem of a first-generation streamlined diesel freight locomotive has now come to Train Simulator – and is available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores!
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
TS20: First-Generation Gem!