FA1 #5215

Discussion in 'FA1' started by Joerg810, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Joerg810

    Joerg810 Member

    Is there someone, who can give some detailed roster informations about FA-1 #5215 ? How long stood this engine in service, has it been renumbered or repainted ?

    Thanks for help

  2. pensive

    pensive Member Frisco.org Supporter

    According to Frisco Diesel Power by Louis A. Marre and John Baskin Harper, Alco FA1 5215 was shipped to the Frisco on December 30, 1948 and was received on January 6, 1949. The unit was repowered with an EMD 16-567-C diesel engine on February 14, 1956 and was traded in to GE in February, 1966. None of the FA units were ever renumbered, though some FB units survived long enough to participate in the 1968 renumbering. No FA units were repainted into the orange and white scheme although a few received the "austerity black" paint scheme.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2007
  3. Joerg810

    Joerg810 Member

    Thanks for your help. Are you sure with 1966 as the date of being traded in ? I found a photo of #5215 in freigt service for Frisco, which is dated with 1967.
  4. pensive

    pensive Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I personally cannot verify the accuracy of the information in Frisco Diesel Power. Though the book has detailed information on every class of diesel the SLSF owned, I have found through interaction on this board, that at least on one occasion, a date in the book was suspect. Where did you find your information? If it was on the internet, could you post a link? Ultimately, one has to gather information from as many sources as possible, weigh the trustworthyness of these sources, and make a decision for themselves what is true.
  5. Joerg810

    Joerg810 Member

  6. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Frisco.org Supporter

    Possible that it's 1967--Marre (In "Frisco In Color") says the FA/FB's lasted until 1969. This shot of 5215 looks like it's in pretty good shape for that late. I could be mistaken, but it looks more like a '62 or '63 photo?? Whaddya think Pensive?

  7. pensive

    pensive Member Frisco.org Supporter


    Here is the rear locomotive unit of train 731 arriving at Fort Smith. If you look at the GP7s you can see that they are facing backwards along with the F7A 5021. In the photo of FA1 5215, one also sees 2 GP7 units facing backwards. So this must be an "F unit sandwich", either 2 or 3 Geeps in between the cab units at either end.

    Let us analyze the photograph without prejudice to what we might think the date would be. The first thing we look for is evidence of repowering, and we find it with the 2 exhaust sacks, equiped with spark arrestors. This image must be after the repowering date of February 14, 1956. Interestingly, neither the Alco nor the EMD builder's plates are present.

    The presence of spark arrestor's takes us into the mid 1960's as indicated by the caption on page 85 of Marre/Harper's Frisco Diesel Power (FDP) "Mandated by Legislation, spark arresters blossomed on the roofs of all Frisco F types in the mid-sixties" The photo shows EMD F-unit 5021. the same locomothive as the trailing unit in our lashup, although it is in the lead in the photo at Rolla MO on October 7. 1965. Looking through my resources, I can't find any F units that have spark arrestors fitted in 1963 or before, some do and some don't in 1964, and by 1965 all of them had it. So I would say that photograph is dated 1964 or later by evaluating that feature.

    Tom is right in that the unit appears to be in good shape. I speculate that it was repainted in the full black and yellow scheme a year or two before the photograph was taken, and before the "austerity" scheme was adopted. The oldest photo that I can find with the simplified black scheme featured is on page 69 of Frisco In Color (FIC) dated October, 1964. So SLSF 5215 must have been repainted some time before then.

    So I would estimate that the photo was taken in 1964, '65, or '66 and it is certainly possible that it could have been taken in 1967.

    In defense of Marre/Harper's FDP they researched the original records belonging to the Frisco, though they make clear, in many cases the records were incomplete and had to resort to other sources to fill in the missing information. We're not likely to get a more thoroughly researched resource on the subject of the Frisco's diesels. The book turns up on ebay every once-in-a-while and is still reasonably priced.
  8. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Frisco.org Supporter

    Looks like you covered all the bases Pensive--The reason I thought it might be earlier (than '67) was that the entire lashup was more or less in original paint schemes. By '67 the r/w's and "cigar band" paint jobs were all over the system.
    The internet book dealers "Alibris" and "Abe Books" both have copies of "Frisco Diesel Power." "Abe" has a copy for $35.

  9. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    FA Set delivery dates

    Howdy folks,

    I am just about finished installing sound decoders in a brace of FA/FB's and plan to start detailing and painting the shell soon. In deciding how to number the units, I consulted Louis A Marre's "Frisco Diesel Power" table of received dates. It would seem logical that a "set" would have been assembled based on the received date, e.g., FAs 5214 and 5215 were received on the same date 1-6-49. Following Frisco's numbering scheme, I'd have thought the FB unit would have been 5314 or 5315 for this set; however, the table says that the FB unit received on the 1-6-49 date was numbers 5306 and 5307.

    The question I would like to have answered is how did the Frisco assemble the road sets, by delivery date, randomly, or by number?

    Happy rails,
  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Mike -

    I'd suggest that new diesel units were received usually, but not always, in numerical order. The Alco FA/FB sets were ordered as A-B-A units, i.e., twice as many FA's as FB's. Thus, it makes sense that 5306 & 5307 showed up along with 5214 & 5215.

  11. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Mike -

    Which FA/FB model are you working with? Are you planning to do them "as delivered", or later in their b/y life?

    The Proto 2000 HO FA/FB model is in "as-delivered" paint ..... b/y, but with yellow handrails and no big unit number on the sides. Shortly after entering service, the Frisco painted the handrails black, and added unit numbers to the sides - below the cab side windows on the FA's, and just ahead of the center door on the FB's.

    Much later on, of course, they messed them up by going to the "austerity" b/y scheme.

  12. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Howdy Ken,

    Thanks for the valuable information. I haven't decided on numbers and exact period yet (need to though and pretty quick).

    I'm building the set to run the freights between Fort Worth and Saint Louis at the Texas Western. They'll be assigned permanently to the train. We model in the 1945-1959 period, so I have a lot of leeway to pick the year. I wanted to do the set before remotoring (I have three Alco Sountraxx units), and have the 5215 FA FB set plus another 5215 FA to complete the group. I'll renumber the second 5215 and was trying to match numbers for the earlier part of it's career. I plan to weather it well, tone down the yellow, black the hand rails, add any grabs needed, add a leslie, fade the antiglare green, etc. I have another set I thought I'd do with 567 engines, spark arrestors, etc., later on.

    A final note is that I haven't explored the old Microscale decal set to see how difficult it will be to change the number boards. I'd like to add the road numbers to the sides. I have one decoder and speaker left to install, then I'll begin work on the shells.

    This diesel stuff is new to me...

  13. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member


    If you like all the "foof" (eyebrow grabs, ladder grabs, etc) then you'll need to lean toward the latter end of your target era.

    IF you want to stay "accurate", then you can mark-off spark arrestors on the FAm's: The spark arrestors didn't start appearing until about '64.

    Have fun no matter which approach you take.

    Andre Ming
  14. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Mike -

    The Microscale #87-85 Frisco decal set would be fine for changing your FA/FB numbers, in particular an older set (has better number board decals). The shade of yellow is "close enuf" for the P2K units for the addition of the side numbers.

    The 87-85 decal set is my favorite all-time decal set. No telling how many of them I have bought through the years! My FA-FB-FA SLSF 5200-5300-5215 set used these decals and is pictured in my frisco.org album.

    If you want to - on your earlier set, consider changing out the 5215 to the water cooled turbo exhaust just to make it a little different. 5215 lived for a while with the water turbo (courtesy of Alco) but was repowered by EMD in 1956. The part is included with each P2K model so you have an option which to use.

  15. geep07

    geep07 Member

    I added a sound decoder in my Alco FA, what was the factory issued horns for this model so I have the correct horn sound for this model.

  16. w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021)

    w3hodoug (Doug Hughes RIP 03/24/2021) 2008 Engineer of the Year Frisco.org Supporter

    The expensive Leslie 5-chime horns were Frisco's standard back then. There's a youtube recording that's a must-play. The chord is A7 inverted around the C#: C#, E, G, A, C#.
  17. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    John, in the Tsunami Alco 244 Decoders, set CV115 to 7; that is the Leslie S5T which is the best choice.

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