NOTE: The Esch Cummin Act, as revised here, takes place long before these events.

In the late 1970s and 1980s of the Boyd-verse, steam engines were finally begging to be retired in the world. This was halted in the United States saw gas and petroleum prices skyrocket due to an oil embargo. Ross Rowland, Argentine mechanic Livio Dante Porta, and many more began to make a series of new, highly efficient steam engines for use on various North american railroads. As the team began brainstorming the ACE 3000 concept they ultimately concluded that it was to be a practical, low-maintenance, and economical competitor to the diesels of the era. In the end, several engines demonstrating their ideas were built.

All three engines were built as 4-4-4-2 engines. They carried a look not unlike a conventional diesel with a semi-streamlined cab design, features 3,000 nominal drawbar horsepower and 4,000 at its peak, and use the latest in advanced computer technology to allow an engineer experienced with diesels to operate them. A drawing of the locomotive was done by Gil Reid showing it pulling an intermodal freight at speed and it was from that point interest within the railroad community began to seriously gain traction.

The first prototype was built in 1984. The engine was first tested on the New York Central from Chicago to Elkhart, IN. Where it was famously shot in a side by side picture of a Niagara 4-8-4 (one of the last NYC steam types still in service), and an EMD E-8. Soon after, the NYC ordered several more of the ACE's new engines. Soon after, its rival the Pennsylvania railroad ordered some of its own, classifying them a "T2," after their famous T1 steam engines from the 40s, which were still on fast passenger trains.

Eventually, more than 100 were built for use all across the East. As well as for use by the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific on their coal trains in the Powder River Basin. The ATSF also considered trying to buy an oil burning version of the engine. But decided they were content with their current steam and diesel roster.

Today, many more designs have been made by the American Coal Enterprises. Including a 2-10-0 design based on Livio Dante Porta's first design for the project. In addition to numerous variations on the prototype's design.

The first prototype, numbered 3000, became part of the Richard Jensen Rail Preservation Society of Chicago in 1996. Where it operates in occasional steam excursions alongside two other steam engines, Grand Trunk Pacific 5629 and CB&Q Northern 5632. Both of which had operated on fantrips for the Missouri Pacific in the 60s.

More details on variants of the 3000 will be discussed in a bit.
 
Top