The Abandoned ALCO Factory

Schenectady, New York

Jimmy Summers writes: The company I used to work for had a facility that leased space in several buildings at the old American Locomotive (Alco) Works in Schenectady, NY. The plant (Twin Rivers) has since been sold to another company and I have moved on to another job (good luck Twin Rivers!). This was awesome for a railfan! I found old crosstie nails and plates, and I had old drawings from the Alco days in my files, along with some old files with letterhead paper. I took only a few pictures, and hoped to get more... but time moves on.

All pictures were taken in the summer of 1998.

Picture of abandonment.
Photo by Jimmy Summers.
Picture of abandonment.
Photo by Jimmy Summers.
Picture of abandonment.
Photo by Jimmy Summers.

—  User Comments  —

considering the age of the photos taken, have all the buildings been razed by now? Any monuments at the old site? any organized tours available? does city hall have more photos? are there films of any demolition? who or what occupies the property now?

Rochester , NY


Sadly yes. They just razed all of the buildings within the last two years. Price Chopper (another Schenectady born business) recently built their corporate headquarters on a portion of the site, and The Galesi Group (a Schenectady real estate developer) is eyeing a portion of the site for building a hotel and apartment complex

Clifton Park, NY

They should turn nthis into a alco museaum. I mean why put a hotel? This site/Whearhouse is a piece of American history. Steam trains were built here! This was all american made! You didnt see no made in china crap here!

Jared Hudson
Grove Hill, AL

This Is Where Nickel Plates First Order Of 2 8 4s Were Built This Sholud Be Made Into a ALCO Museum.

Joshua Lemler
Tippecanoe, IN

The City that lights and hauls the world!

Laurel Springs, NJ

Building 70 of this place was to become a ALCO Museum back in 2008-9 but because of the anti-tourism attitude of Schenectady, it did not happen. As a ALCO Historian, I have many photos of the outside and inside of many of the buildings.

Albany, NY

Is that where they made RS-3 locomotives?

Fred Mecury
Aulburn, NY

I was born and raised in Schenectady, NY (the city that lights and hauls the world) in the late 40's and my father worked for ALCO (the American Locomotive Company) for 40 years in the Tank Shop. I remember riding our bikes down Nott Street to play ball at riverside park on front street (my father was born on Front Street, across the street from ALCO) and we would have to wait in between the tracks because this is where ALCO would test the newly built locomotives. ALCO had multi tracks crossing on Nott street, they were really no problem for anyone. I can remember the ALCO very loud air whistle going off at 8am and 12:00 lunchtime, then again at 12:20pm. The final daily whistle would blow at 4pm and you knew everyone was heading home. Before Erie Boulevard was developed from ALCO to Boulevard Bowling Building my Grandmother owned all that land along the Erie Canal. Little by little she sold off the canal land but keep the land around ALCO where my father operated a parking lot for the ALCO employees to accommodate the overflow of autos. I remember around 1952 or so I was able to sneak a ride while my father put a locomotive to the test. The tracks ran from inside the tank shop to out pass the city public works garage on Foster Ave. and continued towards Rexford. As we were growing up in the "Goose Hill" section of Schenectady ALCO ad GE were the big boys in town, they each had about 35,000 employees. Good memories, we still live in close proximity to the area but of course change affects us all. Miss the times, trying to put together a rail speeder to ride the abandoned rails, parts are tough to locate.

AL Ferro, Jr.
Schenectady, NY