About the Santa Fe Historical Society
Material contributed by Thomas Cain


Santa Fe Books / Mini Reviews 10-14-2003

From time to time on the Santa Fe Subject list there are suggestions and recommendations to look up information in available resource books. Occasionally the response has been that an individual does not have the book or is unable to buy every resource book available. I agree we can't all afford to buy every book that comes along. And with all the new books coming out it becomes even more challenging to decide what to get and what to defer until you hit the lottery. If you are becoming a serious modeler you will need to have some of these reference materials, but there is always going to be a limit as to what most of us can afford.

I consider myself both a serious modeler and also as one who does have a limit to what I can afford. I thought that I might do a quick and dirty review of the books that I have regarding how frequently I use them and how they are used. I was surprised when I discovered how many "Santa Fe" books I had and for a minute thought about how many locomotives that might have purchased, maybe even a brass loco! But then I also realized how often I have gone to those resources for a project. I am ready to say that those trips to my books have all been worthwhile and they have helped me to feel confident in accurately recreating my "Santa Fe Railroad" rolling stock. Since I started this list one of my good friends loaned me a few books to help me fill in some of the holes in my library. Between the two of us here are quite a few books on the Santa Fe Railroad System. I have acquired several more books and will attempt to add them to this list at a later time if it seems helpful to others.


ATSF Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Lloyd E. Stagner. Very popular and easily available book that provides a wide, but still not complete reference of a lot of Santa Fe rolling stock. I regularly go to this book to spot modeling details and for help in painting and decaling models. Much of the rolling stock for this book was photographed in the 1960's so it misses rolling stock of the last few decades.


Caboose Cars of the Santa Fe Railway, Frank M. Ellington. This is a great reference to identify caboose classification series. It provides some nice drawings and photos of Santa Fe cabooses and other waycars. There were a lot of different waycars that were to be found on the end of a train that we often do not think about. Since I intend to have several stock cars, I now know I will also need to provide a drover car to support them, which is covered in this book

Chard Walker's Cajon, A Pictorial Album, Chard Walker. Some really super pictures of railroading at Cajon Pass. Includes Santa Fe, Union Pacific, and Southern Pacific action. Black and White and Color photos.

The Chief Way, Reference Series, System Standards, Volumes 1 - 4, Kachina Press. There are 4 volumes in this set. If you want to reproduce Santa Fe structures, grade crossings, and trackage details these books have everything that you would want to know about recreating those details. I have been using the blueprints for a trackside tool shed to design my backyard shed.


Furniture and Automotive Box Cars of the Santa Fe, Reference Series Volume Three, Richard H. Hendrickson. This book is laid out in the same manner. It follows this freight car classification from the beginning in 1887 to 1997. This book should currently be available through the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society.


Head End Cars of the Santa Fe, Frank M. Ellington. Another super reference book with black and white photos, drawings and data about head end passenger cars. You can use this to confirm that the Walthers RPO and Baggage car are the right cars! This has also been reprinted by the SFRH&MS and should be available at the conventions.

High Green to Marcelene, Joe McMillan. This is an absolutely beautiful picture book that provides color views of the Santa Fe tracks, locomotives, and trains from the 1950's up to 1989. It follows trackage from Chicago to the Argentine yard in Kansas City. A really nice book to help you plan the views for a prototypical model layout.


The Illustrated Guide to Santa Fe HO Brass Steam Locomotive Models, Stephen Redding and Donald J. Baker. If you are into buying brass steam locomotives this is a must. I have never purchased a brass model from e-bay yet, (too pricey), but I would not think of doing so without referencing this book first. Mr. Redding has just issued a second edition of this book with color pictures now and additional information.

Iron Horses of the Santa Fe Trail , E.D. Worley (out of print). Some consider this the Santa Fe bible of steam locomotives. It is a 500 + page book with hundreds of black and white photos of Santa Fe Steam locomotives. It also provides information about dates of service and dispositions of these locomotives. This book lists all locomotives of the Santa Fe up to the early 1960's so it also includes the same information for diesels of the Santa Fe to that time period. This book occasionally shows up in ebay auctions or other places where used books might be sold.


The One-Spot Twins, Larry Brasher. A very interesting book about the first mainline diesel locomotives of the Santa Fe. These truly unique locomotives do not always get a lot of attention but this book has lots of photos across the system of these two diesel locomotives and shows some of the changes and evolution of them through there 18 years of service starting in 1935. This is one of the newest books published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society. Mr. Brasher's father operated these locomotives so it is a personal effort.


The Passenger Car Library Volume Five, W. David Randall. This reference book is all about Santa Fe and Southern Pacific passenger cars. Black and White photos, car interiors, and floor plan diagrams.


Refrigerator Cars of the Santa Fe Railway, Reference Series Volume Two, Keith Jordan, Richard H. Hendrickson, John B. Moore, A. Dean Hale. If you plan on building iced reefer cars of the steam and early diesel eras this is a really useful book. I have built a half dozen Intermountain and CB&T kits and I have used this book extensively to detail, paint and letter my small fleet. This book has lots of black and white photos and a complete roster of equipment. It is a great example of what a reference book should be. I'll never give mine away. This book should currently be available through the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society.

Remembering Santa Fe, Robert P. Olmsted. This relatively new book by Mr. Olmsted is a collection of his photography of the Santa Fe to the merger of the AT&SF and the BN. Almost all photos are Black and White. Mr. Olmsted has captured many interesting images through the years and shows some interesting compositions in the photos shown in this book.

Route of the Warbonnets, Joe McMillan. This 176 page book is full of Black and White photos of Santa Fe trains and operations of the 1970's. Joe has been taking pictures of Santa Fe Trains for years and knows some of the best locations and angles to get great pictures!


Santa Fe 1940-1971 In Color, Volume 1, Lloyd E. Stagner. This book precedes the McMillian books with the same theme of following the Santa Fe from Chicago to Kansas City. This book has smaller photos but it includes some steam engines. It also focuses on passenger trains and their locomotives. Great book for finding photos of steam engines and early diesels.

Santa Fe 1940-1971 In Color, Volume 2, Lloyd E. Stagner. This book continues from Kansas City to Albuquerque New Mexico. Loads of more great pictures.

Santa Fe 1940-1971 In Color, Volume 3, Albuquerque to Los Angeles, Lloyd E. Stagner. . I do not have this book, but I am sure that it continues the same quality of documentation.

Santa Fe 1940-1971 In Color, Volume 4, Texas - El Capitan, Lloyd E. Stagner. I do not have this book, but I am sure that it continues the same quality of documentation.

Santa Fe 1993-1994 Annual, Kevin EuDaly. This is a soft cover book that provides some interesting articles about subjects of the Santa Fe Railway, but the most useful part to me has been the locomotive roster at the back of the book that lists the operating locomotives and their numbers for the years of 1993-94. A very useful tool if you want to operate several locomotives of the same classification and plan on keeping their numbers accurate.

Santa Fe - all the way Volume One, 1940s - 1966, Bill Marvel. This is 128 pages of color photos that follows the years indicated in the title. This can be very helpful in pinning down changes in paint schemes and other prototypical practices through the years.

Santa Fe Boxcars, 1869-1953, Reference Series Volume Four, John C. Dobyne III. This is a new book, which I just purchased. I have not really studied or used the book, but it appears to be a good companion to other reference books sponsored by the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society. This book should currently be available through the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society.

The Santa Fe Diesel, Vol. 1, Dr. Cinthia Priest. A very complete book about the first half of Santa Fe diesel locomotives. Starts with dieselization and goes to 1960. Lots of good color pictures and good facts including locomotive number series and paint schemes. Very helpful for detail diesel modeling projects.

The Santa Fe Diesel, Vol. 2, Dr. Cinthia Priest. The follow up to the above book that continues the Santa Fe diesel roster to the BNSF merger. If you model modern Santa Fe diesels this will be a useful book in finding the details to add to your model projects.

Santa Fe Freight in Color, Vol. One - Boxcars, Stephen Priest and Tom Chenoweth. An extensive color photo documentation reference complete with Bx information from Bx 6 to Bx 223. Some series have multiple photos. Very helpful in verifying the right paint schemes for different cars through the years.

Santa Fe Heritage Volume One, Stephen and Cinthia Priest. Lots of color photos and historical information on a variety of historical subjects. Twenty pages of pictures on F units.

Santa Fe Heritage Volume Two, Stephen and Cinthia Priest. Some awesome pictures of Argentine Yard in Kansas City. Good pictures of the first two diesels of the Santa Fe, "Amos 'n' Andy."

Santa Fe Heritage Volume Three, Stephen and Cinthia Priest. Photos of structures along the Santa Fe. Early Santa Fe Truck Trailers. A variety of freight cars. Forty pages of streamline passenger cars.

Santa Fe In The Lone Star State, Steve Allen Goen. Even if you are not interested in Texas operations you will not be disappointed with the sheer quantity of color photos in this 144 page book with 2 to 4 pictures on every page. This book has pictures from 1949 to 1969 which means there are some color photos of steam locomotives and all of the zebras, blue and yellow, and Warbonnet locomotives of that era. At the end of the book are pictures of over 70 stations, depots, and other Santa Fe structures of Texas.

Santa Fe In The Mountains, George H. Drury. This book is 128 pages with over a hundred black and white pictures of Santa Fe trains working the mountain passes of Raton, Cajon, and Tehachapi. Lots and lots of double headed steam trains. The picture on page 48 of two 2-10-2 locomotives pulling a train with two more steam locos in the distance pushing the same train is worth the price of the book.

Santa Fe Listing of Freight Cars by Class and Car Number, 1906-1991, Larry Occhiello. This is an important book for the prototype modeler, to help in numbering your rolling stock to avoid duplications and non-existent number series. It lists the cars by their class designation/number, with the quantity of cars in use by the year. There is no picture documentation. It is a publication of the Santa Fe Railway and Historical Modeling Society.

Santa Fe Rails, Vol. 1, Kevin EuDaly. This is a soft cover follow up to the above mentioned book. It is useful for the same reason stated above. Lots of good pictures of the Santa Fe and some in color. It was published in 1996 but provides a roster of the AT&F just prior to the merger.

Santa Fe Railway Painting and Lettering Guide, Richard H. Hendrickson. This is one of the most useful books that a prototypical modeler of the Santa Fe would want to have. It lists painting and lettering patterns for all rolling stock and most importantly provides the dates when changes were instituted and how long those paint schemes generally lasted. It is very complete and for example includes dates of when "periods" were used in the ATSF lettering and when the ampersand (&) was dropped. It talks about slogans and other advertising applied to freight car sides. It is a publication of the Santa Fe Railway and Historical Modeling Society.

Santa Fe: Steel Rails Through California, Donald Duke and Stan Kistler. A great source of historical information about California/Santa Fe railroading and B/W steam photos.

Santa Fe Streamliners, The Chiefs and their Tribesmen, Karl Zimmermann. A soft cover book that provides lots of black and white photos of passenger trains and information about the trains and the passenger cars that were on those trains. If you plan on modeling passenger trains this would be very helpful.

Santa Fe Trackside with Bill Gibson, Lloyd Stagner. 128 pages of color photos taken by Bill Gibson. The book is laid out according to motive power starting with 15 pages of steam locomotives. It also includes the rail diesel cars, first and second generation diesels.

Santa Fe Waycars, Stephen Priest. This book is also a super reference to caboose modeling. It has loads of color photos grouped by classification and even the bottom of a wrecked caboose for underbody details.

Santa Fe to Phoenix, Railroads of Arizona, Volume 5, David F. Myrick. This is primarily a historical book that traces the development of the Santa Fe Railroad in Arizona. Much of the book provides information about the development of the Santa Fe Railroad and other railroads that became a part of the system or connected to the Santa Fe. Much of the information and photos represent the time period of the 1800's. Some amazing photos of old trestle bridges including the famous Hell's Canyon Bridge.

Son of Doodlebug, A Pictorial Supplement, John B. McCall. This is a follow up to the original Doodlebugs book (recently reprinted by the SFRH&MS). This book provides additional information and more photos of the motor cars of the Santa Fe. Pictures show these cars from one end of the system to the other. There is a section at the end on available models of the Doodlebugs and also information showing timetables of the Doodlebugs. This is another publication of the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society.

Stock Cars of the Santa Fe Railway, Frank Ellington, John Berry, Loren Martens. This is one of the earliest of the special reference series created by the listed authors. It provides lots of black and white photos and a complete car roster. I have started building some stock car kits and am regularly going to this book. This has now been reprinted by the SFRH&MS and should be available at the conventions.


Trademarks of the Santa Fe, Richard Pelovze. Publisher: SFRH&MS. I have not used this book much yet for modeling details but this would be in interesting resource for "dressing up" your train room to represent the "Golden Era" of railroading.


Warbonnets, from Super Chief to Super Fleet, Dan Pope, Mark Lynn. An interesting color pictorial that chronologically follows the red and silver Warbonnet paint scheme.

Wheat Lines and Super Freights, Joe McMillan. More of the same noted above, but views of the Santa Fe in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. The heart of the AT&SF was in this part of the country and it is extensively covered in this book. Lots of photos of depots and great scenery behind the trains.

The Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society has a number of reference books including a series of books targeting a specific classification of rolling stock. There are four volumes in that series. Volume One is Work Equip Cars. It is not available at this time and I do not have a copy so I can not comment on it.


At an average of $35.00 per book my 33 books out of the above cost over $1,100.00. Don't tell my wife! But of course I did not buy all those books at once. They represent close to 12 years of acquisition. I have tried to purchase about 3 books a year but there are times such as in the current years when the books seem to be coming out at a faster pace. Picking up the books when being released is usually the cheapest time to buy a book and also insures that you will be able to acquire the book. Book sales are good places to find the popular photo books. Morning Sun Publications and McMillian Publications are also good places to go for new books. The reference books of the Santa Fe Historical and Modeling Society are only available through the society. If you want to accurately model the Santa Fe in a prototypical manner you should join the society. The Warbonnet journal published quarterly is one of the most informative and well done publications of any historical society. I look forward to every issue.

Other resources other than books that I regularly use:

McMillan Santa Fe Calendars

The Warbonnet, Santa Fe Historical and Modeling Society Journal

And books from the library of my good friend Paul Brown who also helped with these reviews.

Thomas Cain
Indianapolis, IN


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