Anyone have roof photos of repowered FA or FB units

Discussion in 'FA1' started by friscomike, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Howdy folks,

    I've looked at the various posts on the forum and still don't know how to properly represent a repowered FA/FB unit. I do recall a post of a model, but not a prototype. The last query was in 2008, and I am wondering if anyone has come up with any new photos or references to repower exhaust stacks?

    Best regards,
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2010
  2. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Mike--Ken Wulfert should be able to fix you up with that request. He's pretty much an expert on the Frisco FA's. One consolation: The Frisco FA/FB repowerings are hardly dectectible (Mostly just the stacks and builder's plate), say when compared to Katy and Rock Island FA repowerings. See what Ken says when he chimes in...

  3. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom honors me with his praise, though "expert" is probably a bit strong of a term. I am, for sure, an Alco FA/FB fan, probably because a set of UP Alco FA-FA units was Santa's (and my dad's) response to my request for a diesel to add to our steam powered Lionel set. I loved that locomotive and ran the wheels off of it, mainly in streamlined passenger service, of all things. (Don and Gordon - that's where my diesel thing started - blame Santa!)

    I think the Alco FA was the best looking diesel ever produced - in particular in the paint schemes that matched its shape well - B&O, Erie, GM&O, NYC and, yes, SLSF.

    Mike - I could do an essay on the rebuild roofs. I'll send you a PM.

    I have never seen a clear top view of one of the SLSF repowered units, but I have enough views at other angles to spec out where to put things. Fortunately, as Tom noted, by the time the Frisco had their FA's repowered (some of them), EMD had figured out how to do it without major surgery to the carbody, mainly by being able to reuse the Alco cooling system. Again fortunately, the roof of an FA/FB is pretty clean, and the repowerings did little to alter that.

  4. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Make that the PA, and I will agree with you. The D&H and SP (daylight) were two of the prettiest paint jobs.

    Ken, I still want you to do a PA in Frisco paint. I think it would have been beautiful. :)
  5. friscomike

    friscomike Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Howdy folks,

    Thanks for the notes. I've been looking at photos and models to get an idea how the roof looked on a repower. I still have a few spark arrestors from the 70's, but think they are a bit heavy looking since they are cast metal. I'll look to see what is out there now.

    The one detail I was most interested in what the old exhaust panel. Was it replaced with a simple plate? I noticed Ken's model had eye bolts. When I add the spark arrestors, I want to make sure they are positioned correctly.

    FA's are beautiful and I can't wait to get the first set on Texas Western the run from St Louis to Fort Worth.

    I have added sound to all three units, two being Alco and one repower. They'll sound nice together. Someone told me the Soundtraxx sound unit for Alcos was not correct for the FA. The problem was the number of cylinders represented. Not that I will change it, but am curious so I can fend off the rivet counters.

    It is really too bad the Frisco didn't have PA's (from a modelers point of view, I am sure). They were gorgeous. I can just see one in red and silver pulling the Texas Special, gold and white..

  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Sherrel - Yes, the PA was good looking, but, to me, the nose is too big and long. Maybe that is because I have a big "schnoz" myself. ;)

    I always was an E-unit guy anyway for passenger units.

    The Frisco "Racehorse" PA is on the list.

    The Katy PA's were in a livery close to the Texas Special livery and gave a good idea what a PA in Texas Spl colors, or Meteor colors, would look line.

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

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

    The very first Katy PA's had a shadowline paint scheme on their lower sides that gave them a "look" similar to the Texas Special E-7's, but it didn't last very long.
  8. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Duuuh! :eek:
    I either had forgot, or, was not aware that Katy had them.
    I will have to look.
  9. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

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

    Mike--A source for top views of some FA (Actually FB) units are in Richard Napper's FA/FB kitbashing article in the August '83 (Issue # 38) FMIG Newsletter. There are top vews of his finished FB models, one stock and one rebuilt.

  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Tom -

    Thanks. I had forgotten about Richard's article in the FMIG NL.

    Richard had little to choose from - the Lionel FA or the Train Minature FA. He chose the Lionel - probably because the nose was squared off better than the TM. These were the only two decent FA HO models availble back then.

    Personally, I would have picked the TM. Though it's nose was not as good as the Lionel (more rounded), the rest of the body, and the roof, was better than the Lionel to my eye. Also, the TM was close to the correct dimensions, while the Lionel, as Richard points out in his article, was a bit short and had a too short wheelbase. The TM trucks were also pretty good.

    FYI, Model Power also did an Alco set back then, but it was a FA2 unit. These are not correct for the Frisco, which were FA1's. There are several differences.

    The Frisco FA/FB set posted in my album, SLSF 5208 and 5302, are TM units. The FA is repowered with a TanCan, the FB is a dummy. I hand painted these about a hundred years ago. They still show the roof d/b's, and have the air-cooled turbo. The roof panels are too pronounced. My P2K FA/FB/FA set, SLSF 5200-5300-5215, also in my album, show the much finer detail on the P2K roof panels. SLSF 5215 shows the replacement water cooled turbo, the other two show the original air cooled turbo.

    The Lionel roof was a mess, but did not have the dynamic brake feature. The TM roof was marginally better, but did have the d/b's. The SLSF units did not have d/b's. The Proto 2000 FA/FB roof is very well done, and does not have the d/b complication.

    Both the Lionel and the TM roof panels are way, way overdone. The roof of a FA/FB is very simple, and Lionel and TM both went way overboard showing the roof panels. Today, we have the Proto 2000 FA & FB, which are very well done, roof included, and do not have the complication of having d/b's.

    I'm searching for some pics I can post that show the roofs of repowered Frisco FA/FB's. Possibly more later on repowered pics showing the arrangement up there after the EMD 567 was installed.

    As a start, see the attached pic - SLSF 5217, Alco FA, powered with the original 244 engine with the air cooled turbo. Notice how uncluttered the roof is. This is an often-posted public pic, showing the Alco FA's as-delivered by Alco to the SLSF. Note the yellow handrails - they didn't last long before they were painted black by the Frisco. The P2K models are in the as-delivered scheme with yellow handrails, so that needs fixing quickly. Clean roof.

    The EMD repowered FA units also had a relatively clean roof, but there were two different varieties. I'm looking for pics. Hopefully more to follow.


    Attached Files:

  11. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Ken, have you added any more info to the repowered FA and FB units? I have been searching every where I can think of with no luck. Karl told me he remembered an FMIG article on this topic, which I found, however the quality of the article is so poor I can't read it. I was able to read other articles in this newsletter so I know it is not my computer. If anyone has a readable copy of this NL # 38, I would be willing to pay to get it copied and mailed to me if that is legal.

    Thanks, Terry
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2014
  12. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Terry -

    No, I do not have any roof photos of a 567-repowered Frisco FA1 or FB1. Wish I did.

    The Alco cab-unit roofs were very simple and clean, so I speculate the only difference between the 244-powered unit and the 567-repowered unit are the differences in the exhaust stack(s) - size, shape, orientation and location. Frisco did not have d/b on them, so that is not a concern. Mike Condren has a pic showing the side view of a repowered FA going over a short bridge in Memphis. From the side, you can locate the two EMD 567 stacks relative to the features on the side of the cab. Other than that, I'd keep the ares around the stacks clean, and only keep the few other things Alco had up there that are not exhaust stack related.

  13. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    There is a picture of a repowered alco roof in Frisco in Color Volume 2. I don't have it in front of me, but I can grab it later and find the page number.

    I've been looking at doing an n-scale repowered job, on that one I have to scrape off all the ( incorrect ) dynamic brake details before I can place the new stacks.

    One question, does anyone know the spacing of the two stacks on the EMD exhaust? I assume it is the same as a GP7 or An F-unit, and I can measure from one of those if needed.

  14. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Paul, thanks for the heads up. I found the picture on page 24, and it is the best I have seen so far. However, it doesn't pin point the stacks close enough to begin working on my engine. I also can't tell if the Frisco changed out the covers on the roof or left the Alco covers in place. The following unit is an FB with the original Alco engine still in place. The picture certainly does help, and I thank you for your input. I will try to find the side view that Ken is referencing which will help orient the parts a little better.

    As a side note, it would appear from this picture that the P2K FA and FB units do not have the correct exhaust cooling system installed. The P2K units have the air cooled exhaust system while this picture shows the water cooled exhaust system in place. Any one here know the low down on that. P2K did include the water cooled assembly with the engines, so that can be changed out.

  15. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    Yep, page 24 it is. Good catch Paul!

    The separation between the stacks can be scaled off using Mike Condren's Memphis pic as I described above. Note the location of the two stacks vs the features on the body shell on Mike's photo. Then locate those same features on the P2K FA/FB model, and measure the spacing between them with an HO scale ruler. The stacks are mounted on the centerline of the body, so all you need is the location of one and the distance between them, both of which which Mike's photo will reveal. Also, the photo clearly shows, as I noted above, that there is not much else mounted up there. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet that EMD supplied a new roof panel over the exhausts. Hard to tell from the photo.

    The measurements will tell for sure, but again, I'll bet the spacing between the exhaust stacks is the same as on other 16-cylinder 567's. Why would they be different?

    The P2K units give you the option to use either the air cooled turbo or the water cooled turbo. Look at your parts - the air cooled unit is on the unit when you buy it, but the water cooled turbo exhaust is one of the extra parts. It's easy to tell them apart - the air cooled turbo exhaust runs lengthwise along the roof, while the water cooled turbo exhaust sits sideways on the roof.

    Early on in the Alco 244 engine's life (FA/FB, PA/PB, RS2/RS3) it became obvious that the air cooled turbo was a big problem. Alco quickly came out with an offer to retro-fit the air cooled turbo with a water cooled unit. Some railroads (the smart ones!) took them up on this offer, some didn't. The Frisco FA/FB & RS2 units, I think, all came with the air cooled turbo. I have noticed from pics that some of the SLSF units, but not many of them, did have a water cooled turbo. Whether this was the result of a retro-fit on some of them or original equipment, I don't know.

  16. timothy_cannon

    timothy_cannon Member Supporter

    Look for L&N FA photos too. They acquired at least 2 of the Frisco repowered FA units.
  17. tmfrisco

    tmfrisco Member Supporter

    Thanks, Timothy, I went to their site with no luck, yet. They only had one picture which was no help; however, you have given me the idea to check all of the different railroads that had FAs and FBS. I checked the PRR site, but only found drawings of the sides and front, rats. So close, yet, so far. I will continue to search these sites and hope I find something. If all else fails, I will try to read the FMIG #38 which may not be possible. I believe that I could make out enough to see that the answer is in that NL.

    To further confuse the discussion, I just read on the assembly instructions provided by P2K that the Frisco did not convert any of the air cooled exhausts to the water cooled exhaust. To me, the above mentioned picture shows the second unit with a water cooled exhaust, but now I wonder if it is an optical illusion. What do you think?

    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2014
  18. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I haven't looked at my FA/FB pics for a while, but at the time I did my P2K SLSF FA/FB's, it defiinitely appeared to me that there were a few Frisco FA's that had the water cooled turbo. There is an Ozment (sp?) pic of 5220 (or 21, etc) sitting at Lindenwood with what obviously is not the air cooled turbo. I'm not sure if I saw any similar FB's. I only did one of my FA's with the water turbo.

    I wouldn't rely on LifeLike P2K to be the authority on this. Use a pic of an actual unit. The Frisco was always tinkering with things. Who is to say they didn't get a few water turbos from Alco and put them on themselves as alternative trial while they were considering the EMD repowerings? Lord knows the SLSF 244 powered units (FA/FB/RS-2) were in the shops enough!

  19. pbender

    pbender Member Supporter

    So, I was looking through my Frisco books and found a picture that made me think of this thread.

    Page 242 of Collias's Frisco Power has a picture that includes repowered FB-1 5304. The photo is marked as being from Don Worth's collection.

  20. gstout

    gstout Member Supporter

    There is a photo of #5216 buried in the Archive somewhere. I tried to attach it to this post, but the file was too big to upload. Good hunting!


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