Rapido’s all-new HO scale model will be the first mass-produced plastic HO scale model of the PA series to feature completely accurate contours and road-specific details. Carbody contours have been generated using a 3-D laser scan of Doyle McCormack’s preserved unit. Both PA-1/PB-1 and PA-2/PB-2 variants will be offered.
Our first run of HO Scale ALCo PA models feature:
- Correct nose and roof profiles 3D-scanned from the prototype
- Loads of roadname-specific details
- A units and A-B sets available
- Dynamic or non-dynamic brake versions, where appropriate
- Full underbody piping and conduit
- Separate grab irons and handrails installed at the factory
- Etched-metal grilles, where appropriate
- Lit number boards, headlights and green and white class lights
- Lit control stands and full cab interior
- Includes pre-decorated etched side number panels for Rio Grande (non-illuminated)
- Operating Gyralite or red Mars light, where appropriate
- Rapido’s proven drive system adapted from the FA-2
- DC/Silent (21-pin DCC Ready) or DC/DCC/Sound options
The ALCo PA series locomotives are considered by many to be the most attractive diesel locomotives ever produced. The PA locomotives were built by a partnership of American Locomotive Company and General Electric between 1946 and 1953. They offered two models, the PA-1 initially followed by the PA-2. Both were powered by ALCo’s 16-cylinder 244 diesel engine generating 2,000 HP in the PA-1 and 2,250 in the PA-2.
The PA locomotives were designed to compete with General Motors’ EMD E-units in the passenger locomotive market. While one could argue the ALCos won in style, they did not win in reliability. Their 244 prime movers could not unseat the EMD 567, and the PAs were demoted to secondary service on many lines. Most were retired as passenger service declined in the 1960s, and nearly all were scrapped.
Happily for railrfans, in 1967 four retired Santa Fe units were bought by the Delaware and Hudson. In 1974, after sevral years of service, they were sent to Morrison-Knudsen for rebuilding and upgrading with ALCo 251 V-12 engines. These four units were used on Amtrak’s “Adirondack” for several years and also saw service on Boston area commuter trains under an MBTA lease. All four units eventually ended up in Mexico.
Two of the ex-D&H units have since been brought back to the US, one residing at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas. The other unit is privately owned by Doyle McCormack and is being restored to operating condition painted as Nickel Plate #190.