Santa Fe Passenger Car Roster


Some misc info on passenger cars. Apparently some cars had numbers assigned "internally" for "computer accounting reasons", so the numbers listed may never have actually appeared on the cars.

Usually when a series of named cars was numbered, the numbers are applied in alphabetical order. However, some sources show that some cars were out of "order".

Note: x-y-z on a car is berths-drawing rooms-compartments


Here's a great site on Santa Fe passenger trains:


Sleeper cars 10-6

Pine Series 10-6 sleeping cars
Pine Dawn 1628
Pine Fern 1627
Pine Range 1641
Pine Rapids 1640

Palm Series 10-6?
Palm Leaf
Palm Path

Vista Dome

Indian sleepers

Blue Series sleepers
Blue gem 206
Blue Flag 207

Regal series sleepers
Regal Creek 1807
Regal Crest is 1808
Regal Corps is 1809
Regal Cross is 1810
Regal Court is 1811



Vista Canyon


San Acacia 1387



Smoothside info:

Santa Fe had some smoothsides, and I want to make a consist. Here is some misc. information that needs to be condensed:

The smoothside lightweight Pullmans delivered in 1940 and 1942 came in the Pullman two-tone gray scheme. The first cars painted this way were the two Cascade 10-5s of 1940. This scheme was also applied to the "Tribe"-series heavyweight Pullmans when they were rebuilt in 1940.

Also in 1940, the Santa Fe began painting heavyweight cars assigned to the "Scout" trains in a similar but not identical two-tone gray scheme with enameled train-name plaques on the sides. Cars so painted included chair cars, tourist sleepers, diners, and lounge-dormitory cars, but no head-end cars. The "Scout" scheme remained current until 1947, when the decision was made to downgrade the train.

At the same time, 1947, a different two-tone-gray scheme, without separator pinstripes, began to be applied to modernized heavyweight cars, including head-end cars for the first time. Some heavyweight cars remained in this scheme until the end of Santa Fe passenger service. This is also when all-aluminum paint with shadow striping came into use on both smoothside lightweights and some heavyweight cars. Shadow-striping lasted only four or five years on revenue-service cars, but some business cars carried this scheme into the 1960s.

When the smoothside lightweights were repainted from the shadow-stripe scheme, many of them went back to two-tone gray with separator stripes, but without the original black edging on the pinstripes and with "SANTA FE" as the main lettering instead of "PULLMAN." They also had aluminum roofs and underbodies.

The solid gray scheme was introduced in 1953, and was used on some smoothside lightweights, some heavyweights, and many lightweight economy baggage-express cars. A variation was also applied to 50-foot box-express cars in the 1960s. However, some cars continued to operate in earlier colors, including both main variations of two-tone gray, and coach green. (And about 1954, some heavyweight Pullmans still assigned to the Santa Fe were repainted two-tone gray with separator stripes.) It's not a matter that can easily be simplified, and careful modelers need to research specific prototype cars to be sure of how they were painted. For example, see the article "Shadow-Lined and Two Tone Gray Passenger Cars" in the Second Quarter 2004 issue of the "Warbonnet."


Many of the Santa Fe's smooth-side lightweight passenger cars were painted solid gray with silver roofs and underbodies, beginning about 1952 and lasting until the end of Santa Fe passenger service in 1971. A number of heavyweights were also solid gray, usually with black roofs.

The "Cascade" 10-5 and "Valley" 6-6-4 lightweight sleepers were painted two-tone gray with black roofs when built, and went through a few changes including solid silver with shadow stripes to simulate stainless fluting in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Later they returned to the two-tone gray but with silver roofs, underbodies, and trucks. See "The Santa Fe Railway Painting & Lettering Guide For Model Railroaders, Volume 1, Rolling Stock," available from the Santa Fe society at


Super Chief consist info:

1936 - The Super Chief started on May 12, 1936, as a twice a week heavyweight all Pullman train. The first lightweight Pullman sleeper (Forward) arrived sometime in late 1936.

1937 - The first all lightweight Super Chief from Budd came in May 18, 1937.

1938 - A second Super Chief consist entered  service on February, 1938. This was a mix of Budd and Pullman built cars. The six Pullman sleepers that where ordered for the new consist arrived late, July of 1938, so six Pullman sleepers from the Chief's pool were used for those six months. With their arrival, the cars for the Chief were returned to that service and this new consists was considered the third Super Chief.

1947-1948 - New cars were added to allow for daily service of the Super Chief.

1950-1951 - The Super Chief was then re-equipped in 1950-51 with new sleepers for American Car and Foundry (AC&F) and Budd, with domes and diners from Pullman-Standard.

So the Super Chief was an all Pullman train for many years. But in the late 50s It did have coaches, at times in the consist.

There was normally only one dome car, the 500-series Pleasure Dome lounge, in any 1951 or later "Super Chief" consist. The railroad only had six 500-series cars, and needed four to cover the regular service with one spare at each end of the run. Anyway, the 500s had no sold or reserved passenger accommodations, so there was no point in adding another one at times of peak traffic.

The Super Chief only carried one 500 class dome car in each consist. In later years when it was combined with the El Capitan the El Cap section also had a Hi-level dome in it.

"After January 15, 1954, the sleepers were shifted to the Super Chief and protected by ATSF stainless cars.

#17/18, Super Chief, was a crack sleeper train interchanging sleepers with other roads in the 50s. Coast to coast sleeping cars on this train were protected by Santa Fe's stainless steel cars.
Only rarely (Frailey says once or twice a month) would sleepers from eastern connections be seen in place of Regal or Pine cars. These sleeper pools were:

a.. (Pine Leaf, Gem, Creek, Pass, Ring, Beach) B&O 10-6 from Washington (Capital Ltd.) via Chicago to San Diego.

b.. (Pine Arroyo, Brook, Dale, Island, Cove, Fern) NYC 10-6 from New York (20th Century Ltd.) via Chicago to LA.

c.. (Regal Gate, Gulf, Arms, Creek, Town, Court) NYC 4-4-2 from New York (20th Century Ltd.) via Chicago to LA.

d.. (Regal Ruby, River, Spa, City, Inn, Ring) PRR 4-4-2 from New York (Broadway Ltd.) via Chicago to LA."



The Santa Fe began mixing light- and heavyweight cars as soon as it had any lightweights. For example, the original heavyweight "Super Chief" usually carried the lightweight sleeper "Forward" in its last months before delivery of the first Budd all-lightweight consist. Lightweight Budd chair cars were also regularly assigned to the otherwise all-heavyweight "Scout."


 The full domes were long gone from the El Capitan and repaced by hi-level lounge cars in the all hi-level consist when they were combined with the Super Chief. The first combined train with both streamlined and heavyweight cars would probably be the Scout. It had Budd coaches and two tone gray for the rest of the train. The head end baggage cars would still have been green. Later the Grand Canyon was a mix of green, gray and stainless cars. Do not forget the shadow stripped Heavy weights that ran for awhile.

All Santa Fe overland passenger trains with sleeping car service carried dining cars on at least a part of their runs after World War II. However, there were some short-haul connecting trains that carried a sleeper or two without a diner.

The Chief:

When the "Chief" was converted to lightweight equipment in 1938, it still needed heavyweight cars for its head-end traffic, primarily for Railway Post Office and storage mail space. Through 1947 there was a heavyweight 60-foot RPO car on the "Chief," and in 1948, when the "Super Chief" began running daily, the lightweight baggage-dorm cars that had been on the "Chief" were switched to the "Super." The "Chief" was then given heavyweight substitute cars, usually painted two-tone gray without striping, but sometimes painted aluminum (silver) with shadow striping to simulate stainless fluting.

Much of the consist mixing of the postwar era is documented in Fred Frailey's book "A Quarter Century of Santa Fe Consists," available on CD-ROM from the Santa Fe society at Other consists are offered on the society Web site itself.

Pendulum cars:

The article below is from the January 1942 issue of the California Institute of Technology’s ALUMNI REVIEW.  It discusses the role of CalTech in the development of the three pendulum suspension coaches developed by the Pacific Railway Equipment Company (PRECO) of Los Angeles.

The article below is from the January 1942 issue of the California Institute of Technology’s ALUMNI REVIEW.  It discusses the role of CalTech in the development of the three pendulum suspension coaches developed by the Pacific Railway Equipment Company (PRECO) of Los Angeles. 


In 1937, PRECO, built a prototype car out of plywood inside a Northrup Aviation hanger in California, and persuaded the Santa Fe Railway to let it test the car on its tracks. This is an image of that car:


Based on these tests, the Santa Fe, Burlington and Great Northern agreed to buy one car each. I believe these three cars were built by Pullman. (By the way, the President of PRECO was Cortland T. Hill, the grandson of the Great Northern’s founder, James Hill.  That might explain the sale of one car to GN.)


Here is an image of the Santa Fe car:


What happened to Santa Fe’s pendulum suspension coach after it was removed from service on the San Diegans?  For that matter, what happened to PRECO, a manufacturer of freight cat load dividers, refrigerator car heaters and refrigerator car air circulation fans?


Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA




An almost noiseless railway car, whose floor stays level-and consequently its passengers-even when it takes the sharper curves at high speeds, made its commercial appearance in November, according to information from the Santa Fe Railway. Idea for the new type of coach construction which made these achievements possible came largely from William Van Dorn, formerly associated with the Institute's Aeronautics Department; and Alumni Review readers will recall a detailed discussion of the technical feature of this important development in railway engineering by Professor F. C. Lindvall in the June 1939 number.


In appearance conventional except for oblong windows, the coach is radically different in its method of suspension. Instead of resting on flat springs, as do railroad cars now, this car is hung on its trucks by four huge coil springs. These springs virtually eliminate sidesway, and absorb much vibration. They are hailed by railroad officials as a potent safety factor.


The first of these new cars was delivered to the Santa Fe. Hooked on behind two regular coaches and a fast engine, the car was given its final test run at speeds as high as 81 miles an hour.


William E. Van Dorn of Pasadena, from whose brain the suspension idea sprang, and Cortland T. Hill, grandson of the late J. J. Hill of the Great Northern, head the company manufacturing the cars. They have been developing the idea for several years. Two more such cars, to be delivered to the Great Northern and Burlington Railroads early next year, are under construction.

Rolling stock:


get a copy of the "Painting and Lettering Guide" put out by the Santa Fe Society.
There were "curved line" maps used for a short time from 1940 before they went to straight line maps also in 1940.  There were two versions of the straight line maps with the word Ship added also in 1940.  There were variations within all the types as well.  Map applications ended in 1947.

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