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Baltimore Sun " Engines of war " series ALCO plant NY 1944

American Locomotive Company
Sarah Jones

The American Locomotive Company (ALCO) of Schenectady, NY, founded in 1845, was an important producer of locomotives and tanks for the war. In 1939, ALCO's output was $22,358. By 1943, in the midst of the war, it had increased by over 1800 percent to $428,905,600. During the first four years of the war, ALCO produced more than it had in the first twenty-five years of the 20th century. As Lieut. Gen. Somervell, the Commanding General, Army Service Forces, said "The American Locomotive Company has been in the forefront of our armament program."...

ALCO also produced 1,086 steam and 157 diesel locomotives for the war effort. Many of these were used on the Trans-Iranian Railroad. In late 1942, Russia needed supplies because the Nazi U-boats had crippled the Murmansk sea convoy route. The US military repaired the old and inadequate Iranian Railroad and ALCO renovated 57 locomotives to run on it. The locomotives were delivered at the Persian Gulf and rode up to Tehran. The first locomotive reached Tehran in March 1943. Two ALCO locomotives that served on the railroad were the 8000 (Susquehanna) and the 8008. Both were requisitioned by the US government and were modified by ALCO to run on the Iranian tracks. By May 1943, the Russian requirement for munitions was exceeded by 18 percent. Many of the workers who operated the Trans-Iranian Railroad were trained at ALCO or were former ALCO employees now in the army.
The products produced at ALCO were vital to the victory of the Allies. The locomotives that were modified and built at ALCO supplied the Russians via the Trans-Iranian Railroad and the M7 tank killer was used to great effect in North Africa and in Europe. Many NY factories helped to arm the Allies, including those at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Watervliet Arsenal. Allied success in WWII was due in part to the great work and the dedication of the industries and workers of the State of New York.