Santa Fe Freight Locos

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by up_santafe, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. up_santafe

    up_santafe New Member

    Hello to all,

    I hope this is not a real dumb question, but here it is anyhow.

    I have seen numerous layouts and layout photos using red & silver warbonnets (F3's, F7's, PA's, etc.) to pull freight consists. However, I can't seem to locate any "real life" photos of this. All of the freights are hauled by freight blue & yellow locos (FT's F7's etc.)

    Did the Santa Fe ever use their red & silver warbonnets to pull freight on a regular basis or even in power shortages?

    I have a warbonnet F7 ABBA & passenger consist, and am wondering if these engines would have ever pulled a freight consist. I have SF freight cars and caboose and would like to know if it would be remotely prototypical. I am modeling the transition era 1959-1960.

    One final question, I read that up until 1960 ATSF still had some steam on their roster and had used some as late as 1957. Did they ever use any after that, since they shopped a lot of steam locomotives during that time?

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    The answer is no and yes. The warbonnet was strickly a passange paint job until AmTrak was formed and then the remaining passanger power the ATSF kept was reassigned to freight duty without a paint job to blue/yellow. So you will see "newer" cowl units and SD4xPH in red and silver pulling freight, but never an F7 that I know of ever pulled a boxcar wearing red. Even yet today I ocasinally see a red/silver BNSF unit hooked to an intermodal train (as a rule). That's the brief answer. But on my layout red and silver F7s pull freight. LOL Fred
  3. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    When Amtrak took over, they used the red and silver F-7's till the arrival of their SDP40F's. At that time, Santa Fe got their f units back. They were put into freight service and many were repainted into several variations of blue and yellow. Some retained the silver and yellow replaced the red. Others got the yellow War Bonnet with blue replacing the silver. Many went into the CF-7 rebuild program without getting painted. I've seen pictures of the f's in Texas with them on local freight assignments. Also there is a picture of one red and silver F-7, an 89' loaded pig flat and a caboose. It was on one of the early "Super C" freight trains that Santa Fe made famous.

  4. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona Member

    Hi, UP Santa Fe,

    Yes, Santa Fe did use their Warbonnet painted passenger F units to haul freight.

    Greg Elems did nice job of explaining how the passenger Fs were used post-Amtrak.

    Prior to Amtrak, there were two basic ways Santa Fe used Warbonnets for freight:

    1) Santa Fe bought some dual-service Warbonnet-painted F7s in about 1952. These were geared for 80 MPH top speed instead of the 95+ MPH gearing of the passenger Fs. You could identify these units as they were numbered in the series 325-34x something. As such, it was not uncommon to see these units in freight service, especially in the later 1960s.

    2) After the US Post Office withdrew the carry-the-mail contracts in Oct 1967, Santa Fe started to discontinue many of their passenger trains. The withdrawals were largely complete by late 1968, so from there until about 1971, it was reasonably common to see some surplused ex-passenger Fs in freight service. As they had passenger gearing, they had a lower tonnage rating than the dual-service Fs and the pure freight Fs; hence, the Warbonnets in freight service at this time were almost exclusively on the flatland Texas and Midwest portions of the Santa Fe, and you wouldn't have seen them in freight service west of Texas or west of La Junta, Colorado. (big high horsepower four and six motor EMDs ruled there).

    3) The Morning Sun Lloyd Stagner 'Santa Fe' photo books have a fair number of photos of Warbonnet Santa Fe F units on the point of freight trains.

    Hope this helps!
  5. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Sorry I thought all the F's had be reprocessed into CF7s by then. I stand corrected. Fred
  6. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    No need to apologize Fred. The CF-7 program went on for quite a while, since Santa Fe had a big fleet of f's to rebuild. Some of the F-3's went to EMD for trade on the GP-30's IIRC. The FT's were all gone by the time the CF-7 program started. Santa Fe even had F-9's that went into the CF-7 program and came out tagged as such. That is the neat thing about this forum, nice and helpful. not grumpy like some unnamed forums. :D

  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I know that the ft's were rebuilt into gp30's, but did some of the f3's go that way as well? Were the f9's that went through the cf conversion then called cf9's or were all of those locomotives called cf7's whether they started as 7's or 9's?
  8. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona Member

    Hi, guys,

    I'm guessing again, but based on my interpretation of my Santa Fe research hobby, It appears that the F3s, being passenger units, basically survived into the 1970s CF7 rebuild program.

    Ready to stand corrected.

    I think part of the reason the passenger F3s/F7s stayed on and were not traded in like the FTs were, was the demotion of the U28CGs and U30CGs from very-high speed transcontinental Santa Fe name passenger service. The GE's Adirondack trucks were blamed for some high speed derailments in 1967 or 1968. After the GEs were demoted to the Texas Chief and flatlands Midwest Santa Fe trains and to freight as a consequence, there weren't enough FP45s available to fully protect the remaining Santa Fe transcontinental passenger fleet in the late 1960s.

    Therefore, the old weary passenger F3s and F7s gained a new lease on life in the time period about 1968-1971 as they were used to cover the passenger power needs. Given their age and higher failure rate, in that time period it was customary to over-assign F units, so that if one unit failed, the train would still be able to keep the passenger schedule - which of course, had the secondary effect of keeping more passenger F3s and F7s around.

    Like was said by Greg, hope this is helpful. Enjoy!
  9. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Russ, my Santa Fe history is sketchy at best. IIRC some of the F-3's did go in for GP-30's. Also, any f unit that went into the CF-7 program came out as a CF-7 regardless of what it started as. Another thing I'm not sure about but seem to remember reading was the CF-7's came out as 1500 hp engines.

    John, I hadn't remembered the GE truck problem. I do remember the GE's not being very good for fast start ups from a station. :D Typical GE. Also the Santa Fe trains that looked over powered were sent out on the road for a reason and you got it right. Road failures, so tag a couple extra on in case or reduce the stress causing the failure. It did prolong the time of the f units on the passenger train. Too bad it didn't work for the PA's Santa Fe had.

  10. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

  11. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Great link, and interesting read. Thanks for posting it.

  12. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    CF7s are my third fav diesel lokies after F45 and F40. I love those silver and red cowl units. :) Fred
  13. lucakiki

    lucakiki Member

    I had exactly the very same question, and run into your post by chance while surfing the net looking for Santa Fe information. I have a bunch of F7 A and B units, all in red /silver warbonnet scheme. I would be more than happy if I could use them to haul freight, with no risk of doing something not prototypical. Apparently there is a loophole, and this is a relief, through transition issues and emergency reassignements. The red and silver scheme was later resurrected by ATSF only for freight, so again some later engines would haul freight in these colours, but this is another story.
    I would be interested in learning what kind of engines and in which scheme would normally haul freight in the same time frame of red silver passenger warbonnets. Possibly the solution would be to repaint some of my F/7 in blue yellow? Any suggestion? Thanks,Luca
  14. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    I have photos of some of the early warbonnet FTs hauling freight in an A-B-A configuration. However, during the early 1960s while attending a college near the Santa Fe mainline outside Los Angeles, I noticed that only the Blue/Yellow F-7s were hauling freight in A-B-B-A configurations and the silver Warbonnets hauled passenger trains in A-B-B-A configurations. Of course there are always exceptions, but I never noticed any.
  15. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    This thread in itself is a great history lesson guys - thanks for taking the time to enlighten many of us (OK, make that me) about Santa Fe's operations.
  16. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Herc I am another one who got enlightened, so that makes two.:thumb: Really good reading, thanks guys.
  17. coachC

    coachC Member

  18. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

  19. lucakiki

    lucakiki Member


    Thank you! This will enable me (and up_santafe?) to unashamedly use red/silver warbonnets to haul freight. Exactly what I needed.
    Now, when the same engines were used to haul passenger consists, some ten years earlier, what would be standard scheme of engines hauling freight in the same time frame?
    Could you link also a picture of one of those as well if that is not asking too much?
  20. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    Where can I find a Santa Fe Steam Roster? I purchased 2 Spectrum 2-6-6-2 in Nickel Plate but wanted to convert them to Santa Fe (DC). Did Santa Fe ever run these?

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