The Bachmann O Scale Alco FA1 Diesel AA Set Rock Island 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:
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad: In 1847 the Rock Island & LaSalle Railroad was incorporated to build a railroad between those cities. By 1854 Rock Island had a through route from Chicago to Rock Island, where the Rock Island built the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River. In 1856 a steamboat mysteriously rammed into the bridge and it burst into flames- in a long court battle (the steamboat company argued the bridge was a hazard to navigation)) in 1866 the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the railroad. In 1866 the name of the company was changed to the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad. Over the years the Rock Island greatly expanded, reaching Denver in 1889, Fort Worth in 1893, in 1902 a connection was constructed to the Southern Pacific Railroad at Santa Rosa,,NM, and in 1904 the railroad created a through route from Memphis to Santa Rosa by filling in some gaps. In 1913 a route to Minneapolis/St. Paul had been purchased. By the early 20th Century Rock Island operated a large rail system serving much of the Midwest and Southwest. The CRI &P went bankrupt in 1915, emerging in 1917. Poor management- high dividends and less maintenance- and the Depression resulted in bankruptcy in 1933 which emergence occurring in 1948. Rock Island, by now a weak sister in the territory it served, became the victim of a long struggle as the Union Pacific battled other railroads for control of the CRI&P. By 1974 a deteriorating physical plant caused the UP to lose interest, and as conditions worsened the Rock Island was shut down in 1980. Many of its former routes are now operated by Union Pacific or BNSF Railway.
Interesting Fact: Abraham Lincoln, the "railroad lawyer", represented the Rock Island in the bridge case noted above.
Recommended for Ages 14 and Up.
Navigates 0-27 curves.
Length: 27.25" (Two locomotives) Height: 4"