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August 2002 - Page 41

the RS11, immediately thereafter. As delivered, the RS3 came with Alcos 244 V-12-4-1600 prime mover that developed 60,000 pounds of starting tractive effort. Alco produced the RS3 in three distinct phases. It should be remembered that the locomotive companies did not generally designate phases for their products. Of course, they made changes to their locomotives during production, but the phase designations are of rather recent vintage, and were invented by modelers and rail fans to aid in locomotive identification. The Phase 1 RS3 came without any carbody filters. However, during 1950-1953, Alco improved the air handling inside the

hood of the RS3 by using such filters. Phase 2 units are recognizable by the air filters running along the edge of the roofline on each side of the carbody. Further improvements led to two sets of stacked air filters on each side of the carbody. These RS3s are designated as Phase 3 units. Some other changes, such as angled numberboards at the carbody corners, are also evident on Phase 3 RS3s. A total of 232 Phase 3 RS3s were sold,

generally in small lots to various railroads. By the end of the RS3 run, EMD had become the dominant player in the road switcher market, surpassing Alco with its sales of GP7s and GP9s. The B&M took delivery of RS2 and RS3

Heavily weathered MEC 556 sits next to an unidentified GP38 sometime in the 1970s. Maine Centrals RS3s provided long and faithful service. However, they were relegated to branchline and emergency service with MECs purchase of U25Bs and GP38s. The RS3s were off the railroad by the late 1970s. Date and photographer unknown. Courtesy of Bobs Photo



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