The ALCO MRS-1's

USArmy & USNavy history

unit B2088 in it's original livery. photographer, date and location unknown. Reduced image from the Digital Tours 'The world of trains' CD-ROM.

The Alco MRS-1's got a number from 2041 to 2123. Fifty units were equipped with a steam generator in the short hood. Their road numbers were prefixed with a 'B' (for boiler). They also had an alternate number 65-00xxx - 65-00xxx (given after transfer to the Navy). Navy numbering was straightforward: each new acquired unit got the next number from the list. The Alco MRS-1's had numbers ranging (at least) from 65-00543 up to 65-00616. (the 5 Navy EMD MRS-1's were numbered 65-00570 - 65-00574).

The five last Alco units in official service were all stationed at the Concord, California Naval Base. These were numbers 65-00612, 65-00613, 65-00614, 65-00616 and 65-00617. All MRS-1's are now gone from Concord NWS.

After the Alco MRS-1's were built, most were stored. A few, were lucky and got assigned to bases and put to work.

Alaska history

arr 1605Like the EMD MRS-1 units, some of the Alco units got a second job at the Alaska Railroad. In total 13 Alco units were transfered to the Alaska RR. Six units were aquired by the ARR in november 1974 (units B2049, B2050, B2053, B2054, B2055 and B2059) renumbered to 1601 - 1606.
In april 1975, a second delivery was done of 7 units (B2056, B2061, B2067, B2073, B2075, B2077 and B2100). The first 6 were renumbered to 1607 - 1612, while unit #2100 (ex USNavy 65-00586) only served for spare parts.

Overview Alaska Units (click unit nr. to see photo on John Combs ARR site)
US No. ARR No. Aquire date Retired data notes
B2049 1601 11/74 11/83  
B2050 1602 11/74 11/83  
B2053 1603 11/74 1984  
B2054 1604 11/74 1984  
B2055 1605 11/74 1984  
B2059 1606 11/74 1984  
B2056 (1607) 04/75 06/76 retired before renumbering to ARR number
B2061 1608 04/75 11/83  
B2067 1609 04/75 11/83  
B2073 1610 04/75 1984  
B2075 1611 04/75 11/83  
B2077 1612 04/75 11/83  
2100 parts 04/75 ----- cannibalized for parts for other Alco's

Current whereabouts

Overview list of all units

None of the ALCO MRS-1 units is still in official military duty. A lot were scraped, but quite a few were sold, and still serve on civilian railroads or museums:

2043 Bluegrass Railroad Museum in West Versailles, Ky
2044 The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum
2052 The Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum
2058 Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction
2066 Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction
2069 Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri
2070 Toppenish, Simcoe & Western Railroad
2074 Bluegrass Railroad Museum in West Versailles, Ky, (cannibalized for parts)
2085 Eastern Shore Railroad
2086 Bluegrass Railroad Museum in West Versailles, Ky
2089 White River Scenic Railroad Inc.
2090 Eastern Shore Railroad
2099 went to Uruguay Railroad - scrapped
2104 San Diego Railroad Museum
2108 at Camp MacKall, Fort Bragg, NC
2114 went to Uruguay Railroad - stored in bad shape
2116/2117 Nevada test site
2119 FRRS (Feather River Rail Society's) & The Portola Railroad Museum
2122 FRRS (Feather River Rail Society's) & The Portola Railroad Museum
65-00543 California State Railway Museum
65-00545 California State Railway Museum
65-00546 Railtown 1897
65-00613 Railtown 1897