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Alco PA diesel at Providence Union Station (editor's title)

Alco PA 0784 Providence
New Haven Railroad Alco PA No. 0784 was captured on a sunny afternoon at Providence Union Station about 1955. The streamlined carbody-type ‘E-unit’ riding on A1A trucks (center axle-unpowered) was developed General Motors Electro-Motive Corporation (Electro-Motive Division after 1940) in the mid-1930s and established the pattern for most passenger diesels delivered over the next quarter century by all American diesel builders. Traditional steam supplier, Alco was first to respond to Electro-Motive, introducing its DL109 type on the eve of World War II. Less successful than the E-unit, the DL109 gave Alco a foothold in the emerging diesel market. New Haven Railroad bought the bulk of the DL109 production run, so was a logical customer for Alco’s improved post war passenger design. Alco’s PA (cab)/PB (booster) was car-body type introduced in 1946. Where the shape of DL109 had been a futuristic design created by industrial designer Otto Kuhler, the PA reflected a more conservative balanced design. Although commonly credited to Alco, the PA/PB and its other post war diesels were a collaboration with General Electric. This was reflected in a joint builder’s plate. While it is generally known that the PA/PB used General Electric electrical equipment, it is less Its well known that the carbody, with its prominent six-foot long 'nose,' was the work of GE industrial designer Raymond E. Patten (1897-1948.) He was also responsible for the similarly styled FA/FB freight diesels, and a number of GE electric, some of which share a clear family resemblance with the PA.
Source Leo King Collection
Rights Center for Railraod Photography & Art
Creator
Depicted Railroad
Location Providence, Rhode Island
Builder, locomotive Alco-GE
Creator Description Leo King grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, photographing trains at the mile-long East Side Tunnel (with portals under Benefit and Gano Streets). Providence's Union Station was practically a home away from home for him. Journeys by the former New England Railfan Association offered many photo opportunities and lessons about railroads. In 1972, he won first place for a black-and-white print in the National Model Railroading Association's "Evergreen Convention" hosted by the Pacific Northwest Region. Eventually Leo joined Amtrak in 1988 as a train director and block operator, working between Boston and New Haven. He also was a bridge operator at Mystic River, Niantic River (Nan), and "Conn," over the Connecticut River (Old Lyme Draw). He retired in 2002. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts.
Collection Leo King Collection
Institution
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