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American Locomotive Company
In their never ending quest to perfect a viable passenger diesel, the
American Locomotive Company developed the DL-103 through DL-109 A units
and the B unit DL-110. The A units are all very similar in carbody, but
the design evolved rapidly, thus receiving a new catalog number with practically
each order. Of the B unit DL-110s, only 4 were built: three for the Southern
Railway and one for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.
- The experience of the Santa Fe A unit is typical. "Fast 15",
as it is known, is excellent as high speed power on the flat, but when
climbing stiff grades, the motors quickly overheat and other problems develop.
As one observer noted: "What Alco built was a trolley car." The
Santa Fe order was not repeated.
- The Southern bought several sets which are used in general pool service.
- The New York, New Haven & Hartford is the largest buyer
of these A units (DL-109s in this case), with some 60 on the roster. These
do double duty as passenger service by day and priority freight by night.
Although sales have proven disappointing and the earlier models have
teething problems, these have to be considered one of the most successful
of Alco's large A-1-A + A-1-A passenger units.
North East Rails © Clint Chamberlin.
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