Santa Fe


The warbonnet scheme was one of the most famous in the United States.  How many boys had a toy train set that was in the Santa Fe scheme whether it was HO or Lionel or American Flyer?  Started in the 1930's for the railroad's fleet of premier passenger trains it was also used in modified form for freight in a blue and yellow scheme and finally was revived in the late 1980's for the railroad's premier freight trains.  It was killed by the merger in 1998 by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe - out as a result of a merger and its CEO. Today a few of the present BNSF locomotives still carry the warbonnet scheme though most in that category have had "BNSF" either stenciled or replaced the "Santa Fe".

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A rare - for that time - visit of Santa Fe's Alco PA's (Summer, 1963) stopped at Romeoville with the Grand Canyon.  Neither the road nor the swing bridge just out of site exists today along with the war bonnet, Alco's or, for that matter, Santa Fe.

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OK, it's not a "war bonnet" but it is another Alco: the switcher that Santa Fe used up to through the early days of Amtrak at Chicago to pull trains back to its yards.

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The same switcher is pushing the Texas Chief towards Union Station in this 1972 shot at the 21st St. Junction.  314 would be one of two units to receive an experimental war bonnet blue and yellow paint scheme.

The short lived yellow war bonnet on 315 as it leaves Chicago's Union Station with the Texas Chief in April, 1973.  Backing up is the "Denver Zephyr".  The new Amtrak units were a few months away.

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Long before Amtrak and in better days the westbound "Chief" speeds through Willow Springs in October, 1964 behind F unit 30-C.

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The Westbound San Francisco Chief is ready to leave Joliet as it is passes by an eastbound freight in this April, 1971 scene.  Amtrak was a few weeks away.  The FP45's never went to Amtrak nor were used on their trains.

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Still in its pre-war bonnet scheme, GP35 3519 leads several  of the railroad's UCG-30 fleet still painted in its passenger war bonnet scheme.  The units were withdrawn from passenger service after a derailment.

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The FP-45's remained in use for extras such as this Director's Special heading westbound rounding Houlihan's curve near Chillicothe, Illinois on a dreary May, 1979 day.  The units would be re-numbered again and repainted in passenger colors.

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Santa Fe liked its GE's.  U-33C 8515 starts the decent near Edlestein, Illinois on freshly ballasted rails.
The famous war bonnet scheme on F7 342 as it leads the Grand Canyon across the Joliet plant in this April, 1971 picture.  The units would last, the train would cease to operate in a few weeks with the arrival of Amtrak.

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A rather strange combination of a B23-7, a former passenger cowl 8000 class unit by GE and a Conrail EMD unit lead this eastbound freight near Edelstein on the famous hill.

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A pair of U33-C's lead a fast intermodal freight at McCook in this September, 1978 scene. 

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Another interesting combination: a U23B in need of some touch-up work and an EMD GP-30 still in its orginal blue and  yellow freight scheme approach McCook heading eastbound on a cloudy May, 1978 day.

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One more look as the lead units of the eastbound Amtrak Super Chief head in towards Union Station as they cross the Chicago River in this July, 1971 picture. 

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A final look at one of the most famous railroad paint schemes now in BNSFmarkings.  This altered picture shows a newer GE Dash 9-44CW at St. Paul.  Thanks for the memory.
A GE unit leads a BNSF freight out of Minneapolis' Nortown Yard by St. Anthony Road

The BNSF storage track showing a mixture of former BN and Santa Fe units in storage during the Summer of 2000.  In the background is a rainbow colored BNSF frieght with a still lettered Santa Fe unit leading.

An westbound BNSF freight at Prescott, Wisconsin approaching the St. Croix River draw bridge.  8-2000.

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revised on Wednesday, 21 December, 2011 21:19

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