The Bachmann O Scale Alco FA1 Diesel AA Set Lehigh Valley models the American Locomotive Company's (Alco) FA1 diesel locomotive. Working with General Electric as its partner, Alco introduced its own road diesel locomotive the FA1 in 1946 when World War II manufacturing restrictions were lifted by the US Government. The design with the aggressive long straight nose was a similar design to the Fairbanks-Morse diesel locomotive designed by Ray Patten of GE and built at GE's Erie plant. Being Alco's partner, it was easy to slightly change the FM model for the new Alco locomotive- why redesign the wheel? The Alco 244 engine with its 12 cylinders generated 1500 hp- fearing ElectroMotive Division's dominating the market Alco rushed this engine into production with resulting quality issues. GE became disenchanted, leaving the partnership in 1953, and introducing its own line of locomotives in the 1950s. Alco becoming the third place manufacturer left them too little market share to be a viable competitor- Alco ceased building locomotives in 1969. This set of two locomotives includes two "A" Units, one powered and one dummy locomotive.
Road Name and History:
Lehigh Valley Railroad: The Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill & Susquehanna Railroad was incorporated in 1846 to build a railroad from Easton, PA, to the anthracite coal mines located near Mauch Chunk, PA (now called Jim Thorpe). The line was opened in 1855. By construction and merging other railroads the Lehigh Valley (new name in 1853) reached Wilkes-Barre, PA, in 1867. In 1865 by purchasing the Pennsylvania & New York Railroad the LV was able to connect with the Erie at Waverly, PA. Losing its eastern connections, the LV opened its own route to the Atlantic Ocean at Perth Amboy, NJ, in 1875, and finally to the major port of Jersey City in 1899. The Lehigh Valley completed a line to Buffalo, NY, in 1892- the western limit of the railroad. In the 1890s the LV was controlled by the Reading and by J. P. Morgan for short periods, regaining its independence in 1902. The little railroad in the crowded New York-Buffalo market began seeing the decline of anthracite coal- its bread and butter- and increased highway competition by the 1930s. By 1961 the Pennsylvania Railroad had purchased the Lehigh Valley. Deteriorating conditions for Northeastern railroads culminating with the Penn Central bankruptcy in 1970 sent the LV into bankruptcy. In 1976 the failing Lehigh Valley was consolidated into ConRail.
Historical Fact: Alexander Mitchell, Master Mechanic of the Lehigh & Mahanoy 1866, designed a locomotive with 2-8-0 wheel arrangement, which was called the "Consolidation" in honor of L&M joining the Lehigh Valley (Merged in 1866).
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.
Navigates 0-27 curves.
Length: 27.25" (Two locomotives) Height: 4"