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This permitted the Frisco to concentrate maintenance expertise, special maintenance equipment and parts supply at a single location.
The Tulsa shop was equipped with special high level platforms to work on the F-M units.
It quickly became apparent that the 2,400 hp (1,800 k W) Westinghouse generators were prone to failure, and the F-M prime movers initially suffered from relatively poor piston life, usually due to cooling problems, and proved difficult to maintain.
A nine-month strike by the Beloit, WI shop forces right at the beginning doomed the project.
The Erie-built’s successor was to be manufactured in Beloit and designed from the ground up; the result of this effort was the Consolidated line, which debuted in January 1950. C-liners took many of their design cues from the Erie-builts, and appeared in the F-M catalogue with a variety of options.
All national locomotive production was subject to strict wartime restrictions regarding the number and type of railroad-related products they could manufacture (the U. Government in the name of the Navy commandeered all F-M O-P production well into 1944).
Following World War II, North American railways began phasing out their aging steam locomotives and sought to replace them with state-of-the-art diesel locomotives at an ever-increasing rate due to the impossible economics of steam propulsion.
Fairbanks-Morse, along with its competing firms, sought to capitalize on this new market opportunity.