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April 29, 2009 - M.T.H.'s RailKing Scale O Gauge RS11 diesel will begin shipping to M.T.H. Authorized Retailers in May 2009. Check out the locomotive in Taylor's Product Update VIDEO.

The first run of RailKing Scale ALCo RS-11 road switchers, cataloged in 2008 Volume One, will be arriving soon at MTH dealers. Check out these photos of the Pennsylvania model, and we think youメll agree our RS-11s offer Premier level details at a RailKing price. Separately added metal parts include front, side, and rear handrails; horn; and grab irons to allow access to the top of the hood. Built to full 1/48 scale proportions, this model also offers illuminated number boards, directionally operating front and rear headlights, separately added windshield wipers, an optional snow plow, and etched metal safety tread on the frame walkways. A cold-weather window enclosure is also featured on appropriate prototypes

Proto-Soundᆴ 2.0 Performance

As with most new M.T.H. diesels, the RS-11 features dual pickup rollers on each truck, making this model nearly stall-proof on any three-rail O gauge switches. Throttle down as low as three scale miles per hour to muscle a heavy cut of cars around your terminal or out on the road ラ and maintain that speed as long as you wish, thanks to Proto-Speed ControlTM and twin flywheel-equipped motors. Listen to the authentic chant of an ALCo prime mover. Pick up and drop off cars wherever you like, with remotely activated front and rear Proto-CouplersTM. And thanks to Proto-Sound 2.0 technology, you can mix RS-11s together in lashups with other ALCo or EMD diesels, just like the prototype did. No one else offers an RS-11 with so much versatility, detail, and performance at a RailKing price.

Prototype Background

The RS-11 was Alcoメs answer to the hugely popular Electro-Motive Geep. Alco had, after all, invented the road switcher: a multipurpose engine with great visibility fore and aft, capable of anything from slow-speed switching to full-throttle mainline hauling. And in the late 1940s and early ム50s, Alcoメs pioneering RS-1 and RS-3 had sold well. But Alcoメs 1600 hp model 244 motor had acquired a reputation for unreliability, and the Electro-Motive GP7 and GP9, copying the road switcher concept, became the runaway best-sellers of first-generation diesels.

One wonders today if Alcoメs problem was really its motor or EMDメs commanding sales lead. Back in World War II, EMD had been the only company permitted to manufacture road diesels, and shop crews nationwide had learned to service the EMD 567 prime mover. Perhaps a lack of familiarity led to lesser-quality maintenance of Alco motors; as evidence, Alco fans today point to the New Haven, an all-Alco railroad that got great service from its Alco fleet while others complained.

In any case, the RS-11 addressed the reliability issue with a new Model 251 V-12 motor, offering 50 more horsepower than the contemporary GP9. At least a dozen Class 1 railroads in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico bought the new engine after it was introduced in 1956. Some used it in passenger service with an optional train heat boiler. Later a low-nose version with better forward visibility was offered. But while the RS-11 was a good locomotive, the race had already been lost. Sales numbered in the hundreds while Geeps sold by the thousands. Some RS-11 orders were simply fallout from EMDメs success ラ when they couldnメt make Geeps fast enough, Alco got the overflow orders.

Alco soldiered on for another decade, introducing its Century series of locomotives, but the RS-11 turned out to be the last Alco diesel that sold in significant numbers. In 1969 Alco shuttered its Schenectady locomotive plant and sold its designs to its Canadian cousin, the Montreal Locomotive Works. After many changes in corporate ownership, Alco designs are still alive today in India, where a large number of diesels are powered by descendants of the Alco 251 diesel motor.


The RailKing O Gauge RS-11 diesel can be ordered through any M.T.H. Authorized Retailer.