Photo of the Week
February 2, 2003

     This week we are going to continue with the Panama Railroad with an excellent old photo taken in 1951 by Andy Demes.  Everyone remembers these great locomotives pulling freight and passengers back and forth on the isthmus.  This locomotive is a Alco RS-3 diesel.  This was the first of four that replaced the old steam locomotives.  They had to be specifically built for the 5 foot gauge track used in the Canal Zone.  The normal gauge used in the U.S. was 4' 8.5".  The yellow/orange and black were the early colors.  When the Bicentennial came in 1976, they were all painted red, white, and blue.  Note the old wooden passenger car.  Boy do I remember riding in them!  Ahhh... those sweet memories!

Historical Background of the RS-3: Immediately after the end of WW II, the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) produced the RS, Road Switcher Diesels. The third version, the RS-3 ,was first delivered in 1950 to the Great Northern Railway. Over 1,272 were built by ALCO. RS-3ís have been used in local freight train service as well as commuter passenger service. The RS-3ís ran throughout the US, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, and S. America. Production of the RS-3 ceased in 1956. 

Taken from ARISTO-CRAFT TRAINS web site.

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