It was a pity the NSWGR did not order at least 40 of the 40 Class. A larger order would have avoided the truly horrible 41 class and could have performed much the same role. I think some dimwit in the administration at the time believed the 40 class were main line locos and the 41 class a switcher type loco when in fact North American railroads used them as an all purpose loco.
I recently came across a Spanish Railways poster with a painting of the similar Alco (4 wheel truck) they received. The model they received was very similar to the North American model (except for buffers and link couplers) unlike the terribly hacked around model we received. I can obviously understand the changes to the cab profile, however the extensive changes to the front pilot and total lack of rear pilot made for a very odd looking loco. More like it should have been a steam loco rather then a diesel.
Any ideas why they did this? Must have cost a lot more than a standard model and made them unsuitable for long hood running which must have restricted their usefulness.
Could it be that only 20 were ordered due to the silly foreign currency regulations at the time. If NSWGR was not sure about them they could have stumped up for more after the original 20 were proved to be very suitable. Were did the story come from that it was at first thought ALCO PAs had been ordered. The long gone O Gauge House even made up a kit of parts for a model of a PA. Remember seeing them running around the layout at the time at Haberfield. I was very young then. Sigh.
The U.S had been producing diesels for some time prior to the 40cl, & the Brits saw they were likely to lose out on markets, especially as NSW looked to DE types rather than the DH's preffered in England.
The order for both the 40 & 41 classes were more test cases for the future direction for locomotives in NSW, at the time most of the heads were still in favour of new & modern steam, however the newer engineers were leaning towards diesels, thus these were ordered as evaluations for the future.
Bare in mind that the 40cl was built in Canada as the U.S were strapped with new off the shelf versions of the diesels, & buying through the Montreal company allowed the mods to be done to suit our loading gauge, namely the cab, which in the end improved the look of them over the stock RS3's used in the U.S. Also the rear end was a purpose concept, while they were looked at for freight services, as well as passenger trains, at the time of the orders Hook couplers were still very much the primary coupler in use in both areas, the open end of #2 end made the coupling up to hooks a much easier & safer work than having a flared type cow catcher at that end.
What that also meant was that NSW basically had to have buffers on their locomotives both front & rear to cater for working hook type trains. Look at the standard RS2 or RS3 & there is not a huge difference in the front end of them either. The cab or drivers set up for them, & they were purchased as they were called road switchers, with drivers controls only on the one side, & as the U.S & Canada operated from the right hand side of the cab, & they also (like Victoria) operated their diesels with that style of cab Long end leading as normal, not short end as we did, but it made for correct side operation by the driver in NSW.
The other aspect in the order also was they could get them here quick owing to the desperate post WW2 engine shortage with minimal time delay owing to the alterations to fit the loading gauge. The Canadian RS3's had steam heating units in the nose as standard on their versions, while it could have been handy here for steam heated trains, it would have been an additional expense for little use, the space for the steam heating unit was simply replace with a large cement block for the weight distribution.
If there was anything of money or politics involved & one story had it that they went to the Canadian agency of Alco as it kept the contract with a commonwealth country.
One of the big issues that was found with them was the A1A + A1A arrangement was very poor & really did not make them suitable for heavy goods traffic especially in wet areas as they slipped badly & could easily go into an uncontrolled wheel spin, being light on the wheels, & the US style B6 brake valve, was very hard when the independant brake was applied & could lock the wheels up & cause them to slide, same thing with the 6et on the 59cl.
As for the 41cl, in the areas that they ended up working in especially on the petrol traffic shunting trip to Sandown & the high intensive shunting work at Cooks River where they stayed out from Sunday Night to Saturday afternoon, they performed exceptionally well, in fact as good as, if not better than a 48cl. What it proved in simple terms Horses for courses.
Certainly the more versatile 40cl which was able to operate in a wider area across the state was more succesful than the 41cl but both had their issues in their lack of areas.electrax
Presumably, th3y were ordered from Canada because their purchase in that manner satisfied the financial requirements then in place. I seem to recall that Goodwin never got the Alco licence until about 1956 and Goninan got the GE Licence until around 1957. Perhaps M636C would like to comment?
I think you got that back to front. The 43 came out before the 44, & had different electrical systems in it owing to Alco not prepared (so I understand) to Goninans for only 6 loco's. GEC supplied the electricals for the 43 & when Goodwins finally received the agency for production of Alco's they used the GE electricals rather than GEC.
I do not have my diesel operation book handy but they show the difference in the electrical setup of them.