Page 35: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 15, 1985)

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Bombardier/ALCO A New Force In Diesel Manufacturing

The recent acquisition of Alco

Power Inc. of Auburn, N.Y., by

Bombardier Inc., a diversified Ca- nadian manufacturer of transporta- tion, recreational and industrial products, will enhance ALCO's posi- tion as a well respected diesel engine manufacturer, according to Gilles

Courville, responsible for ALCO operations.

This acquisition will allow ration- alization of diesel engine produc- tion, through the combination of human and material resources of

ALCO and Bombardier's Rail and

Diesel Products Division (formerly

MLW-Worthington). It will also open new market opportunities at both the domestic and international levels, Mr. Courville stated.

The Bombardier group originated in 1942 in Quebec's Eastern Town- ships region, when J. Armand

Bombardier introduced a tracked vehicle designed to carry people and equipment over unplowed winter roads, fields and forests.

The company came into promi- nence in the '60s following the intro- duction in 1959 of the first recrea- tional snowmobile, marketed under the SKI-DOO tradename. Bombar- dier soon became the world leader of the snowmobile industry and, as part of a vertical integration pro- gram, acquired in the early '70s the

Austrian company which manufac- tured the ROTAX engine for its snowmobiles. The ROTAX compa- ny also manufactured tramways for the Austrian market. Its acquisition marked Bombardier's first step into the rail transit industry.

Bombardier entered the North

American mass transit field in 1974, with a contract to supply the Mon- treal Urban Community with sub- way cars. The company has since become a leader in the transit indus- try, having obtained several major orders, the most important being valued at over one billion Canadian dollars for the supply of 825 subway cars to the New York Metropolitan

Transportation Authority.

In order to consolidate its posi- tion in the rail transportation sec- tor, in 1976 Bombardier acquired

MLW-Worthington, a Montreal- based manufacturer of diesel-elec- tric locomotives and of the world- renowned ALCO Model 251 Diesel


As may be recalled, in the '60s both ALCO and MLW were owned by Studebaker-Worthington, who sold ALCO to White Motors in 1970 but retained MLW. "With the ownership of the two companies, Bombardier is now forg-

The Model 251 Diesel Engine shown left, the "V" type 4 cycle; shown right, the "in line" 4 cycle engine. ing ahead to a position of recognized leadership in one of its fields of endeavor—that being rail transpor- tation, diesel-electric locomotives and diesel engines," notes Mr.


The Model 251

Diesel Engine

The Model 251 Diesel Engine is well known in worldwide locations in a variety of applications which include ships service power, marine propulsion, offshore petroleum ex- ploration, pumping and locomotive traction, "all of which require reli- able diesel power," Mr. Courville points out.

For naval applications, the com- pany reports the 251 engine design complies with the requirements of the marine certification authorities both in the United States, Canada and overseas. Therefore, this engine is well suited for installation in a wide range of vessels, from naval through tugs, workboats, dredges, ferries, fishing vessels, as well as other naval applications both ocean and inland.

Installation in the hull is simpli- fied by the use of a four-point mounting method that also reduces vibration. The 1,200-rpm version that gives a lower weight/power ra- tio provides greater fuel storage or cargo capacity.

Simplicity of design of the 251 engine allows for improved ease of maintenance, an important cost fac- tor. All 251 engines have the same bore and stroke. Components such as connecting rods, cylinder heads, liners and pistons, and fuel injection equipment are interchangeable, re- ducing inventory costs for the vessel owner.

The sound basic design of the 251 range of engines has remained the same, which permits easier upgrad- ing of older 251 engines to today's applications and power require- ments.

The Model 251 engine is a 9-inch bore by 10'/_»-inch stroke, four-cycle turbocharged unit. The maximum power per cylinder is 225 bhp with a compression ratio of 11.5:1. The en- gine cylinder block and base is a weldment with the underslung crankshaft carried in forged steel saddles welded into the block. The engine base serves as an oil sump and is fitted with a four-point mounting arrangement.

Prior to the recent acquisition of

ALCO by Bombardier, the long- standing relationship between

ALCO and MLW had resulted in refinements being brought to the

Model 251 engine through the R&D activities of each facility. Now, with both under the same ownership, the joint efforts of ALCO and the Rail and Diesel Products Division will enhance R&D activities and, ac- cording to company spokesmen, will result in further improvements.

Rationalization of manufacturing techniques is allowing the new or- ganization to take advantage of new production techniques and materi- als to improve the quality and life of the product as well as reduce engine operating costs. "One instance of this," Mr. Courville stated, "is the fact that we can lengthen the life of the 25f Diesel in an electric applica- tion by conservatively rating the unit at 635 to 2,800 kw for contin- uous duty from 720 to 1,200 rpm."

Capital improvements have been made and more are planned for the two manufacturing facilities. In ad- dition, the company reports a wide range of product support services, including feasibility studies, design, parts, technical assistance, mainte- nance facility and operations con- sulting.

A 30-page brochure describing these heavy-duty diesel engines is available at no cost. Profusely illus- trated in four-color, the brochure lists specifications on the 251 series (6 to 18 cylinder) with general and specific engine characteristics and ratings. It includes specifications and performance tables, drawings, cutaway illustrations, and photos.

For your copy,

Circle 48 on Reader Service Card

March 15, 1985 37

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