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Thread: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

  1. #1
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    Default PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    Folks,

    I'm trying to make some use of the handful of PRR diesels I've been able to tease out of the file library, and I'm trying to deal with the PA/PB set that's in there.

    The one resource I've got on the PRR's PA/PB arrangement indicates that they bought 10 PAs and 5 PBs, which is a very convenient figure for calculating use. I'm told that these locomotives were given "premiere passenger assignments" upon delivery in 1947. To me, that means they had a crack at the Broadway Limited. Since I've managed to piece a BL consist together, I'm kind of eager to attach some Alco units to it. That being said, back to the locomotives.

    When I see an arrangement like 10 PA and 5 PB, I tend to think that the purchasing railroad has five 6,000HP units, made up of an A-B-A consist. At the same time, I'd like any advice that the PRR fanbase could give me as the 'ideal' way to arrange PA/PB motive power for the Broadway Limited.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default RE: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    Wiser folks may know for sure, but I don't think the PAs were used for the Broadway Limited, which was most likely all E's after the K-4s were retired. There are some beautiful Rick Lamp E's in Train Artisan's Club TA section.

    Aloha, Jeff Link
    Island Electric - West

  3. #3
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    Default RE: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    My one book on the Pennsy suggests that that the PAs were "delivered" in 1947 and the E7As were "ordered" in 1947; the first E7s on the property were "placed in secondary passenger service between Harrisburg and Detroit, ostensibly to please the folks at General Motors". That suggests to me that there might have been a brief window of opportunity for the PAs to haul the Broadway Limited and so by the magic of fudging the facts, I'll have some justification for placing PAs at the head of the train. :D

  4. #4
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    Default RE: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    I hate to disappoint the GM fans on here, not!
    But prior to volume shipment and receipt of the E units...
    PRR routinely assigned Alco P series and Baldwin BP20 sets (A1A Passenger Sharks) to ALL through passenger service... (And for a very brief period the AA sets of Baldwin Centipedes which were later derated to 5k HP from 6k HP and re-geared for freight service...
    IIRC the Es were not initially the primary choice for hauling Crack Passenger Trains west of Harrisburg... They eventually won their assignments because of Long Term Maintenance Issues with the Alcos and Baldwins... For sure they didn't do it because they could haul more! ;-) Anecdotally I've heard that a Baldwin, for instance, could drag an E unit around Backwards all day long...
    Chuck Schneider
    Chief Cook, Bottle Washer and (Virtual) CEO
    [Link Expired]
    Chuck Schneider
    Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (Virtual CEO)
    North American (Virtual) Locomotive Works

  5. #5
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    Default RE: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    Chuck

    I've heard that a Baldwin, for instance, could drag an E unit around Backwards all day long...

    Apparently that was a common observation in regards to the "slipperyness" of EMD products, I read some where of an account by a life long Rock Island hogger that thought those EMD switchers were OK but still mourned the day they took "his" Alco switcher because that lil Alco could just haul the whole danged yard around.

  6. #6
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    Default RE: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    In the case of the Baldwins, part of it was the Westinghouse Traction equipment (Generator and Motors) which because of very conservative underrating was capable of absorbing almost twice the load-over load that the GM equipment could....
    Alco had heavy GE TMs that were almost as good, or so I'm told....

    Chuck Schneider
    Chief Cook, Bottle Washer and (Virtual) CEO
    [Link Expired]
    Chuck Schneider
    Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (Virtual CEO)
    North American (Virtual) Locomotive Works

  7. #7
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    Default RE: PRR Alco PA Passenger Service

    I don't know about premier use...as I found a picture of one of PRR's PA on loan to the Long Island Rail Road in 1947, the photo was at Patchogue. It's probably the one and only photo that exists of the PRR PA on the LIRR!! Shocked me to see it.

    But it wasn't the only pA that ever ran on the lIRR...the Freedom Trainof the late 1940's did so as well, pulled by PA's.

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