While EMD’s GP-7 and GP-9 may have dominated sales, ALCo’s RS-11 had a style and sound all its own – and twice the power to boot! Produced for railroads across North America, some of these “steel dragons” are still roaming today on shortlines.
ALCo introduced the RS-11 in February, 1956 as the next advance in their line from the RS-3. The RS-11 featured similar styling but with a full height hood to house its 12-cylinder 251B diesel engine. The locomotive produced 1800 horsepower – quite an advance for the time for a single-engine diesel-electric. It’s tractive effort was also greater than the GP-9. Like EMD’s GPs, a steam boiler for passenger service was an option on the RS-11.
While ALCo’s new model was stronger, more fuel-efficient and offered faster acceleration than its EMD counterpart, it arrived too late for many of the railroads who had already invested heavily in diesels to replace steam locomotives. Alco still found good customers in the railroads who had not yet completely dieselized. No surprise then that its biggest customer was Norfolk and Western who bought 99. (They later gained another 65 from the Nickel Plate.) The Pennsylvania and Northern Pacific were also big buyers. Many other roads sampled the locomotives, buying small orders to supplement their roster.
Production continued for five years in the US, and another three in Canada. The locomotives developed a reputation for strength and reliability and helped secure future orders for ALCo, who would remain a thorn in the side of EMD for decades to come.
Lionel’s Latest RS-11s
Our 2012 release of RS-11s come with LEGACY and in three roadnumbers per roadname (two powered, one dummy.) Features include:
- LEGACY control – capable of running on TMCC and conventional as well
- Odyssey II Speed Control for 2 Maintenance free motors
- LEGACY Railsounds including
- Crewtalk and TowerCom communications
- Six official railroad speeds
- Eight diesel RPM levels
- Quilling Horn along with appropriate warning sounds
Bell with single hit or continuous sounds
- Sequence Control to narrate an entire trip
- Fuel and speed announcements and refueling sounds
- Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
- Lighting Effects including
- Directional LED headlight and back-up light
- Marker lights front and rear
- Number boards
- Cab interior
- Traction tires
- Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
- Detailed cab interior with window glass and engineer and fireman figures
- Separately applied grills many more details
- ElectroCouplers on front and rear
- MSRP: $479.99
Non-Powered Locomotives Feature
Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
- Detailed cab interior with window glass
- Select separately applied details
- Magnetic couplers on front and rear
- MSRP: $239.99
All locomotives will run on an O-31 curve. Listen for that familiar ALCo gurgle in your dealers soon, these are on their way. For a longer look and listen to these locomotives, check out our Customer Service product video.