Alaska Railroad MATE 2 photographed in May 1983 at Birchwood scrap line.
Alco RSD1 built as USA #8049 2/43 acquired by the ARR to become #1027 and
got four wheel trucks. Cut down to slug in Mid 1972 and mated with
a GP7 in Anchorage Yard. Retired from active service in 1979 and
scrapped in 1984.
You might wonder what a Mate is and what it does. Pat Durand explains,
"Several railroads used mates in switching service where the locomotives
were restricted to yard speeds and never used as Road Switchers. This was
an economy move. At low speed the prime mover and generator provide more
power than can be delivered with just the traction motors under the locomotive
to which the Mate is connected. To increase tractive effort the ALCO Mates
provided four more axles with traction motors which were connected to power
leads on the GP7L to which they were mated. The economy came from not having
to maintain another complete locomotive prime mover, generator and all
the controls. That is why they were built from scrap line locomotives.
The deck was loaded with a 16" thick slab of concrete for ballast."
Photograph courtesy of Ken Brovald, MATI Collection
Museum of Alaska Transportation and Industry
Photograph courtesy of Michael Patrick Collection
Anchorage, March 14, 1977