Monday, December 18, 2017

The 1954 San Francisco Chief

The San Francisco Chief began operations in June of 1954, designed to compete with City of San Francisco (UP and CNW) and the California Zephyr (Burlington, RG, and WP).  This was the last long distance new train service introduced in America, but not with new equipment.  It was a success from the beginning, running from Chicago to Richmond, CA, just outside of San Francisco.
Here at Barstow, we see the San Francisco Chief heading eastbound led by an ABA lashup of of PA locos.
 Right behind the Alcos is an ACF Baggage car, no. 3460, from Kato.
2860 is the first of four chair cars on today's streamliner.  On busy days, there might be 5-7 chair cars and coaches in this train.  2860 is Budd chair car, part of an order of 45 cars delivered in 1953.
The other three chair cars 2824, 2846 and 2839 follow 2860.  These cars seated 48 passengers comfortably. The models are from ConCor.
Following the chair cars, comes the 1566 Lunch Counter-Diner.  The prototype was manufactured by Pullman Car Company in 1950. I made this model from M&R brass sides on an American Limited chassis, with Kato wheel sets.
This is the reverse side of the LCD.  It has a very interesting window arrangement.  The kitchen is on the left side of the photo.
The Big Dome Lounge Dormitory cars were delivered in early 1954.  Because of the dormitory, the lounge was smaller than the lounge of the Big Dome cars on the El Capitan.  Thus an additional lounge car was added to the SF Chief, after the diner. This car was kit bashed from M&R sides on a Bachman chassis.
The Budd diner, no. 1474 is from Kato.
The Bar Lounge 1348 is a Pullman manufactured car from 1947.  Again, M&R sides on American limited chassis.
The Regal Arms is and American Car and Foundry manufactured 4-4-2.  These cars were manufactured for the Super Chief, but many found there way to other streamliners.  This is the first of the sleepler cars.  The model is from Kato.
Pine Leaf is a 10-6 sleeper from Budd.  I removed much of the skirting, as in reality, crews removed them for greater access to the equipment.  The model is is from Kato.
Indian Arrow is a 24 Roomette car from Pullman. I built this car from M&R sides on an American Limited chassis with Kato with Kato wheelsets.
Blue Moon is another M&R car.  This sleeper would be dropped off in Arizona with its ultimate destination being Phoenix.  There were many sleeper pick ups and drop offs along the way to and from Chicago.  I included this car FYI.
The last car in the streamliner is the Salahkai 8-2-2 sleeper.  The Salahkai was built by Pullman from a 1937 order.  Another M&R sides car.

Thanks for your interest.

A video of this train can be found on YouTube at:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

1954 Santa Fe El Capitan in N Scale

 EMD F7's 40 ABCL heading through the Mojave Desert

The 1954 El Capitan streaks across the Mojave Desert in Southern California heading westbound into Los Angeles.  The following pictures will present the individual cars in the consist. The cars were arranged in a specific manner after the head end cars.  Two chair cars, a lunch counter-diner; two more chairs and the dome lounge; two more chairs, a LCD; Two more chairs, and the parlor observation car.  Additional chair cars were place after the second LCD.
Immediately following the F units we find a baggage and mail car, number 3407 and a full baggage car, number 3436.  The mail section of 3407 was used for sorting and classifying mail according to U.S. Post Office specifications.  This car was not to be confused with a Railway Post Office (RPO), which were on trains with a daily schedule, such as the Super Chief.  These are Budd built cars.  The models are Kato.

The next car in the train is baggage dormitory car 3477.  The dormitory is mainly used by the crews, but is passenger accessible as a lounge.  This car was manufactured by the Pullman company in 1947.  The model is custom made with M&R sides fitted to an American Limited chassis, Kato trucks and wheel sets.

Car 2860 is a Budd manufactured 48 seat chair car from 1953.  These cars were considered the most beautiful cars on the Santa Fe, both inside and out. They were made specifically for the El Capitan, a premier coach train.

 On the Santa Fe Railroad, chair cars differ from coaches in that chair cars have reclining seats, while coaches do not. These models were manufactured by Con-Cor and as most of my passenger cars, were painted with Alcor Polished Aluminum. (Car 2828)

Following the first two chair cars come the first Lunch Counter-Diner.  This Pullman manufactured car, No. 1507, was built in 1940, a single order car. It was a backup car for this train.  The model is custom made with M&R sides on the American Limited frame.

Two more 2816 class chair cars follow the LCD.

Big Dome Lounges 506-513 were built by Budd in 1954, especially for the El Capitan and the Kansas Cityan/Chicagoan.  The custon model is on a Bachman Chassis with M&R sides.

Two more 2816 class chair cars.

Following the first two coaches comes the second Lunch Counter-Diner.  This Pullman manufactured car, No. 1567, was built in 1950.  The model is custom made with M&R sides on the American Limited frame.

These are the final two of eight identical chair cars on the El Capitan.

This parlor observation car was built for the El Capitan in 1938.  The model is from Pecos River Brass.  I replaced the trucks with Kato Budd trucks.

Thanks for checking out my blog.

A video of this train can be seen on YouTube at:


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

1954 GFX Extra 248 East in N Scale

GFX 248 East leaving Barstow with EMD F7's having total
6000 H.P.
The hottest freight train on the Santa Fe Railroad in 1954 was the GFX (Green Fruit Express) trains, from the farmlands of California to points all over the map.  For those trains making it all the way to Chicago, distributions were made to all points Midwest.  Many entire trains were transferred to the Erie RR for Northeast delivery.  The B&O, PRR, and NYC covered D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York respectively.  All types of fruits and veggies grown in the West were on these trains, and time was of the essence.  Most cars were filled with ice on both ends of each car to keep everything cool.  Ice stops were to be made daily.  The train took 6 days to reach Chicago, reaching its destination on the morning of the sixth day.

The GFX ran from California to Kansas City or Chicago.  Others stops included Galveston, Dallas, and Houston.  These Texas trains ran as CTX or BTX. Cars could be pulled from the GTX at any junction point for delivery to places such as Denver or St. Louis, for example.  It was a very complicated system of delivery with too little space here to go into it further. 

Forty ft. Ice refrigerator cars passing Shell refinery.

Shell refinery, 1954.
In Needles, CA yard.
Here are photos of several classes of ATSF ice refrigerator cars that you could see in any Green Fruit Express train, no matter the destination...

Intermountain model RR23, with 1947 revised slogan herald, The Route of the Chief.  On the right is a RR25. 

Intermountain Santa Fe RR25 on left.  Straight Line map on the left, revised "Ship and Travel..." slogan on the right, a RR25.  Probably a repaint?

IM RR25, with original slogan.

IM RR25, with straight line map.
Intermountain RR27, with revised lettering, 1947-1959.

Intermountain RR27

Two Athearn 50' RR30's, with original slogan lettering on the left, and revised lettering on the right.

Athearn RR30, revised "Ship and Travel..." lettering on the left, straight line map on the right

 IM RR32's with original lettering.
IM RR32's with original lettering

Plug door RR53's of mid fifties manufacture for the Santa Fe. I cannot remember the manufacturer of these N scale cars.
Micro Trains wood side cars with heavy weathering.  I do not know the class name of these cars as they are general wood side reefers made by MT.  I added additional wood walkways near each icing door.
A video  of this train can be seen on YouTube at:

Thanks for viewing the Needles Division, 1954!

Monday, February 15, 2016

1954 #20 Santa Fe Chief in N Scale

This 1954 version of the Santa Fe Chief consists of both Chair cars and Sleepers.  This train, however, is not the carrier of trancontinental sleepers as in the past.  The trans con sleepers have now been transferred to the Super Chief.  It is labeled as the #20 (even numbered) as it is an eastbound train from Los Angeles to Chicago.  It remains a vital train on the Santa Fe.

Following the Budd baggage car, No. 3448, we see the "San Fernando", No. 1382, a Budd built Baggage Dorm Lounge.  The Dormitory section had berths for the crew, and a toilet in the baggage section.  The car was built with M&R brass sides and American Limited frames.

Two chair cars, Nos. 2900 and 2908, poised in front of the Barstow station.  Santa Fe defined chair cars as having reclining seats with footboards for more comfort.  Coach cars had no such amenities.

Chair car no 2884, one of four on the Chief,  comes from the Pullman Car Co. order of 1947.  This is how the car would have looked at delivery, with full skirting between the wheel sets.  Built from M&R brass sides and American Limited frames.
No. 2871, from the same 1947 Pullman order, 2861 class, 44 seat cars, with side skirting removed. Built from M&R brass sides and American Limited frames.

The Lunch Counter diner is a modified Kato car.  The reverse side of the car has an M&R side in place of the diner side as produced by Kato.

The diner Cochiti is from the from Oriental Limited, Santa Fe Super Chief set. Prototype manufactured by Budd in 1937. 

Shown here is a Bar Lounge Dorm, no.1347, built by Pullman.  A Budd built car would be more appropriate, but M&R has not produced "sides" for those Budd cars. Built from M&R brass sides and American Limited frames.

The first of the sleepers is a 10-6, named the Pine Leaf, manufactured by Budd. I modified a Kato CB&Q car by opening up the wheel wells and removing the side skirting.  The prototype often had skirting removed for easier maintenance.  See below for explanation of the 10-6 room arrangement.

Next, is a 4-4-2, the Mojave, manufactured by Pullman in 1939. Bedroom cars were becoming more in demand as passengers desired greater privacy.  The 4-4-2 remained popular on the Santa Fe for decades. Built from M&R brass sides and American Limited frames. Painted with Alcad Polished Aluminum paint. 

This is a stock Kato car from the Smooth Side passenger Set E.  The two tone gray on the Monument Valley 6-6-4 was correct for the time as the shadow stripe paint scheme had been phased out by this time.

The Tonto is a 17 roomette, 1 section car.  Built by Pullman in 1938, part of an eight car order.  Built from M&R brass sides and American Limited frames.

Bringing up the rear, the 3-2-1 lounge observation sleeper Navajo.  This car was the only Budd built sleeper observation on the Santa Fe.  Other Budd observation cars were chair cars.  The model is from the Super Chief set from Oriental Limited.  The lounge area is, of course, at the rear of the car.
                        PASSENGER CAR DESIGNATIONS

10-6                      10 Roomette, 6 Bedroom
4-4-2                    4 Compartment, 4 Bedroom, 2 Drawing Room
6-6-4                    6 Section, 6 Roomette, 4 Bedroom
17-1                      17 Roomette, 1 Section (for porter)

3-2-1                    3 Compartment, 2 Drawing Room, 1 Bedroom Lounge-Obs

Thanks for checking out my blog.

A video of this train can be seen on YouTube at: