Keeping diesel engines warm in Alaska's severe winter weather was a constant battle. You will notice weather curtains mounted over most radiator intakes on early units, Alco S2, RS1, RSD1, 1070's, etc.
These locomotives had manually operated louver controls to close and open the shutters. On the Alcos the rod ran through pipe supports along the top right edge of the long nose from the engineers station to a box at the right rear corner of the top fan grill.
In warm weather the shutters worked, sort
of. In cold weather blowing snow and ice would foul them, open or closed. Canvas
curtains were installed to provide some protection. This was a minimal thermal barrier,
but allowed some radiated heat to keep the snow and ice melted behind it and
deflected new accumulations.
The curtains were fabricated from heavy
duck canvas, or in the early days an army pup tent half. Remember the heritage
of the Alaska Railroad! They were
mounted to 3/4" pipe hangers top and bottom, using large hog rings through
grommets in the canvas.
involves installing some bent wire "pipe
hangers" corner to corner at the top and bottom of the radiator housing.
The canvas is manufactured by folding masking tape back and forth on itself
to create draped canvas. Cut the finished folded section to a friction fit
between the top and bottom "pipe hangers". Add a little weathering,
tear some holes in the "canvas" if you want and it gets convincing.
In the summer these were tied back at the front corner.
Awnings over the side cab windows were
also made of canvas. These were attached just below the cab eve and stretched
over a pipe frame that could be hinged
up or pulled down to protect an open window. Use ACC to "seal" the
adhesive side of the "canvas" masking tape and attach it to the wire
frame. DO THIS BEFORE YOU ADD WINDOW GLAZING!
Try it, you'll like it! When you figure out how to do the hog rings, please
let me know. Patrick J. Durand