Sunday, August 10, 2008

PGE's RS-18's

Pacific Great Eastern 593, North Vancouver, July 3,1961. It's the 4th of July weekend, and my sound recording buddy - El Purington and I - have ventured north to capture the variety of rail experiences with the Pacific Great Eastern, Canadian National Railways and Canadian Pacific Railway, in and around Vancouver.

Pacific Great Eastern's North Vancouver facility is in several "location shots" seen in the "X-Files" television series. Indeed, one of the Budd RDC's was demolished in a blast in one of the programs!

Years ago, an article in "Trains" magazine ran a featured story entitled the "PGE Roller-Coaster!" in describing the south-north profile from North Van to the Peace River Country!

For those of you brought up listening to the zero-personality of modern day high-speed diesel engines, here is a very short YouTube video that gives you some idea as to how these hypnotizing units sounded. Now that motor has "character!"

It's a little known fact
amongst rail buffs that once upon a time, ALCo made four wheeled automobiles! The company diversified into the automobile business in 1906, producing French Berliet designs under license. Production was located at ALCo's Rhode Island Locomotive Works.

Two years later, the Berliet license was abandoned, and the company began to produce its own designs instead. Alco cars won the Vanderbilt Cup in both 1909 and 1910 and also competed in the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race in 1911, but they had less success in sales, abandoning automobile manufacture in 1913.

The Alco automobile story is chiefly notable for starting the automobile career of Walter P. Chrysler, the plant manager, who left for Buick in 1911 and subsequently founded the Chrysler automobile giant.

Montreal Locomotive Works, under licence to ALCo, permitted side stepping of "import" taxes, building to the DL 718 specifications.

Railroad Stuff: Pacific Great Eastern 593, built by Montreal Locomotive Works as the Canadian Version of the American DL718. 1,800 hp 4-cycle 251B V-12. Built in September 1960, sn 83276, renumbered PGE 607 in 1964, BC Rail 607 in 1972.

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