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The Un-glamorous Santa Fe

June 7, 2010

Among American railroads, the Santa Fe would be among the most glamorous railroads, if not the most glamorous. Hollywood movie stars rode its passenger trains, its freight trains among the fastest in the world, the warbonnet paint scheme among the most well-known, etc.

But there was another side of the Santa Fe, a side that didn’t get as much attention from the public, the media, or railfans.

Two CF7's and a GP7 bring an empty grain train through SP's Englewood yard on April 17, 1982

For every high-speed train, there were probably 5 that never exceeded 20 mph. This empty grain train passing along the west side of SP’s Englewood Yard is a good illustration of the countless yard jobs, transfers and branch-line trains that accounted for the vast majority of the day-to-day operations on the Santa Fe.

Even though these mundane trains accounted for the vast majority of the Santa Fe’s revenue, they garnered none of the fame or publicity that the Super C or the Super Chief did.

So even though the public could care less about these empty grain hoppers returning to Kansas for another load of grain, Santa Fe executives  knew better. Santa Fe management understood that trains like this are the ones that pay the bills. And that’s what counts….

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Rick Malo permalink
    January 14, 2011 7:19 pm

    Boy, they were ugly ducklings, but you gotta love ’em…those CF7’s. They soldiered on for many years.

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