The American Locomotive Company, one of the nation's premier steam locomotive builders, joined forces with Schenectady, New York neighbor General Electric to build the first standardized diesel-electric locomotives in the 1920s. But when the diesel revolution began in earnest after World War II, dependability problems with Alco's model 244 prime mover doomed the company to forever playing second fiddle to industry leader EMD.
The brawny good looks of Alco's FA and PA cab units, however, have endeared them to railfans and modelers for more than half a century. Designed to compete with EMD's FT four axel freight locomotive, the FA-1 contained many of the same design elements but used a new 12-cylinder 244 engine. Many would argue that Alco's FA-1 and successor FA-2 diesels were both handsomer and more powerful looking than their major competitors, EMD's F3 and F7 "covered wagons." A signature feature of Alco cab units was the striking ribbed grille surrounding the headlight. And while FAs were sold primarily as freight haulers, like EMD's F-units they had room for a passenger-service steam generator at the rear of the engine compartment.
Built by Alco and EMD in New York between 1946 and 1959, the FA-1 was designed primarily to haul freight, as they did not have the space at the rear of the engine compartment to accommodate a passenger-service steam generator. Externally as well as mechanically the FA-1, designed by Ray Patten, appeared very similar to the ALCO PA models built around the same time period. Distinguishable from the FA-2, the FA-1's shutters were at the far end of the carboydy, this was later changed to accommodate the steam generator that would be placed behind the radiator.
M.T.H. is proud to present the HO FA-1 FA-1 in classic first-generation diesel paint schemes. These streamlined diesels will bring beauty and power to any HO layout. Each Alco FA-1 AB diesel set includes one twin-motored A unit and twin-motored B unit. The A unit has full directional lighting and both the A and B units feature 2 Scale Operating Kadee Compatible Coupler. Like all HO diesel locomotives, the set is equipped with the legendary power and performance of Proto-Sound 3.0.