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Branchline Heavyweight Cars

Updated 4-15-06

Branchline is producing a series of high quality plastic heavyweight cars. This site will examine these cars with the Santa Fe in mind. The major problem for Santa Fe modelers is that Santa Fe steam ejector air conditioning equipment has not been modeled for any of these cars.


Not ATSF nor would they have NORMALLY been seen on the ATSF. However, Art Gibson writes,

" Indeed the NYC coaches offered by Branchline were seen on the Santa Fe and, one of them, went out in a spectacular style.

"During the summer of '46 (if my feeble mind recalls correctly), train 2nd #8 was running late, and very fast. On the eastbound track (left hand running) at Melvern, Kansas, there is a leftward sweeping curve that is also on a descending grade and swings in alongside the westbound track that is lower and on the south side of the e.b. track. Power on this late afternoon was engine 1313, a light 4-6-2. Due to excessive speed, the train left the rail and flew over the w.b. track and skidded to a stop on the south bank of the cut. The rider car on this train was New York Central 1473, a coach. (This is the car modeled by Branchline, if I am seeing things correctly.)

"The wrecked equipment was later towed to Topeka on a "hospital train" pulled by the 1824 (2-6-2). The 1313 was scrapped the following Jan. 1947. I "think" the NYC 1473 was also scrapped, but do not now remember its exact disposition."

Cent Series, Pullman 8-1-2

The Cent seris were built 1928-30. In 1948, the Santa Fe purchased 28 of these cars from Pullman. These were:

CentandaCentelloCentlowCentrailLaurel Valley
CentarchCentgateCentnomeCentrangeLaurel Wood

Branchline will offer:

#5000 Undecorated
#5014 Centarch
#5015 Centacre
#5016 Centgate

Consists in my possession show the following cars:
1/27/52 California Limited: Centanda, Centdale
1/22/54 California Limited: Centanda, Centdale
7/30/55 California Limited: Centaya
10/16/53 Grand Canyon: Laurel Wood
9/26/48 Scout: Centarora, Centash
10/17/52 Scout: Laurel Valley
10/18/52 Scout: Centdale
8/30/55 Scout: Laurel Valley (Bad date, as Scout discontinued in 1954)

Cent series cars from other roads might have also appeared, especially on the Grand Canyon.

Other sightings would be welcome.

Lake Series, Pullman 10-1-2

The Lake cars being offered by Branchline are as built (1927) with two vestibules. When Santa Fe purchased Lake series cars in 1948, they eliminated one vestibule and enlarged the lounge area. Therefore, Santa Fe Lake cars do not match this model.

Santa Fe owned Lake cars:

Dean LakeEcho LakeLava LakeMoose LakeStar Lake
Dell LakeFern LakeLona LakeSpear LakeSwan Lake

However, Keith Jordan reports that Santa Fe had 6 additional Lake cars which were assigned to the ATSF but still owned by Pullman. These had steam ejector air conditioning and double vestibules. These were:

Lake BonaparteLake BryantLake ClealumLake KengosaLake OwenLake Worth

Lake Sedgwick (Plan 3585A) Was also assigned to the ATSF.

The Undecorated Branchline car could be painted for these cars.

Two of the models should come with steam ejector air conditioning: 5238 Erie Josephine Lake and 5239 Erie Lake Worth.

Some consists from my files:

9/15/31 Grand Canyon: Lake Clealum, Lake Isabella, Lake Roland, Dean Lake (All Pullman owned at this time)
8/25/52 Grand Canyon: Lake Martha (PS owned, with SE air)
8/29/52 Grand Canyon: Lake Martha
8/15/65 Grand Canyon: Western Lake (Wabash)

Jordan reports: "There is confirmation that Lake Bryant and Lake Owen operated on the Temple-Clovis trains circa WWII and later."

This is a work in progress. Please make contributions. Corrections and input to Steve Sandifer.

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