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The muscular PA profile and its elegant nose, with the characteristic grille around the headlight, were designed by Ray Patten, General Electric's head of industrial design. Long after all other PA's had gone to scrap, four restored ex-Santa Fe units remained in service on the Delaware & Hudson into the late 1970's. While Electro-Motive's E-units easily outsold Alco's passenger engine, the PA is widely regarded as the most beautiful first-generation diesel - period.
At the time, GE and Alco were partners in the locomotive business, with GE making the electrical equipment for all Alco diesels.

Sold to the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (FNM) in 1978, most of the units eventually deteriorated to junk status, although one remained operational.
Perhaps no other locomotive looked so right at the head of the streamlined trains of the late forties and fifties that were the last hurrah of American long-distance passenger service.
Patten's design was described as "a locomotive so distinctive and so powerful looking that it actually helps railroads sell their services to passengers and shippers." While Alco would later fall by the wayside, GE went on to become America's largest locomotive builder by the early 1990's. The 294 PA's and cabless PB's built between 1946 and 1953 powered some of America's most famous name trains, from the Southern Pacific's Daylight to the Pennsylvania's Broadway Limited.

4449, the restored Southern Pacific Daylight, and the Smithsonian Institution repatriated two of the junked units for rebuilding.
One of the units will be restored to Santa Fe livery for static display, while Doyle is bringing the other PA back to life in the Nickel Plate Road "Bluebird" scheme.

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