Talk:Baldwin Locomotive Works

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edit·history·watch·refresh 25 railtransportation.svg To-do list for Baldwin Locomotive Works:
  • Add a photo or two of a Baldwin engine
  • Expand the lead section

Fate[edit]

What's the fate of this company?Sinolonghai 21:47, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Production[edit]

"Over 70,500 locomotives had been produced when production ceased in 1956."

I'm guessing that's total locomotives build over the 100-odd years Baldwin was in operation, not just Diesels. From the article it's a little unclear - I think the end of the article particularly needs copyediting. FiggyBee 13:56, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

List of Running Baldwin Locomotives[edit]

I think it would be interesting (and encyclopaedic) to include a list of presently running Baldwin steam locomotives. There is an amusement park my kids love to go to just down the road, and they have two Baldwins - no. 45069, a 1917 narrow gauge 4-6-0, and no. 69425, a 1943 narrow gauge 4-2-2, in complete working order - they have one or the other doing a 2-mile loop around the park every day pulling a passenger train. I will go this week and take some better pictures for the article.

They have a full service locomotive repair and parts fabrication shop as well.

-- 24.176.93.67 19:51, 18 August 2007 (UTC) (mm35173 not logged in)

Changes to History[edit]

I added a lot of information about the years of Baldwin's decline (1907-1972). The history section now skips the entire middle section of Baldwin's history, so that needs to be filled in.

I also moved a lot of the information that was in the diesel section to the history section because it related much more to the history of the company than to Baldwin's diesel trains. For example, I think that section should talk about the dimensions and quality of Baldwin's diesel trains, and not stock purchases by Westinghouse, etc., which are general history matters. Juliensorelnyc (talk) 01:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Just a bit curious why you mark the year 1907 as the start of BLW decline. I can certainly see the downturn of steam locomotive manufacturing, but assumed BLW armaments contracts would have compensated for locomotive shortfalls for another decade. Do overall BLW financial statements paint a different picture of the years 1907-1918?Thewellman (talk) 02:08, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
John K. Brown, the author of "The Baldwin Locomotive Works" marks 1906 as the company's apex and I tend to agree with him. In a footnote Brown mentions that "Baldwin and its wartime subsidiaries also made 6.5 million artillery shells and a number of heavy gun mounts. All this work pushed sales from 13.6 million in 1914 to 123.2 million in 1918." (Note 107 p 227).
Nevertheless, Brown straightforwardly states in another note that "Baldwin's fall...originated with its inadequate response to the 1905 market climax rather than the diesel revolution." (note 2 p. 235-38). Essentially, 1905-06 was the peak of the railroad industry, and instead recognizing this along with all of the other ills the industry faced (ICC, rise of the automobile, inflation etc.) Baldwin failed to diversify its operations until 1929. Baldwin declared bankruptcy in 1935, which was before the switch from steam to diesel power. Part of Baldwin's downfall is also attributed to the large dividends it gave out in the 20s, so even if profits were sufficient to make up for losses, that money was probably disbursed to investors. If I make another edit I think I will mention Brown's view.Juliensorelnyc (talk) 07:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
It says at Electro-Motive_Diesel#From_the_Forties_to_the_Sixties that EMD got a head start on selling to the dieselization market immediately after WWII because of the way the war [specifically implied although not stated is the War Production Board ] kept Baldwin and Lima from developing their high-iron diesels during the war because they were urgently needed to crank out production of existing models. I skimmed this article today and don't see it mentioned here. Can any locomotive-philes build on this? Currently this article says in the lede and history sections that Baldwin failed to compete in dieselization, but it doesn't mention the above as one of the reasons why (although maybe not the only reason). This is something for further development/linking tie-in. — ¾-10 16:49, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
This is mentioned in the article: "...America's entry into World War II destroyed Baldwin's diesel development program when the War Production Board dictated that ALCO and Baldwin produce only diesel-electric yard switching engines...." In addition, this was not a decisive factor in Baldwin's inability to compete in the diesel market because by world war II EMD was already at least a decade ahead of Baldwin in terms of Diesel train design. This was a result of management choices made or not made between 1915 and 1925, not government intervention roughly 20 years later.Juliensorelnyc (talk) 05:09, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Language/tone[edit]

A considerable portion of this article is written in an un-encyclopedic tone ("to be the end of the line", "proudly proclaiming", "testament to Baldwin's durability and reliability"). This suggests that the text in question (which is often uncited) was either written by a big fan/booster or was taken from some other work, perhaps a magazine article. Either way, it's not appropriate for an encyclopedia and should be re-written (with footnotes) or removed. --Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 19:10, 19 February 2011 (UTC)