Santa Fe FT Locomotives

Updated 1-11-2011

The purpose of this series of pages is to not to cover materials already on the internet about the Santa Fe FT locomotives, but to provide some additional information for the modeler and historian.

Already on the internet are:

To this we add an Index of Published Photos of FTs in excel and pdf form. It was last updated 1/10/11. A list of books consulted is also included.

Don't be surprised if you find some contradictory information in these files.

Not all FTs look the same. Photos are the only way to produce a prototype model. In addition the individual units went through several renumberings, pairings, and paint schemes. For instance, three different locomotives wore the number 137C. The first 137C was renumbered 401L in 1950 and renumbered again to 168C in 1956. The second 137C began life as the 140C and became 137C in 1950. It was renumbered to 138L 9 days later. The third 137C started life as 138L and was renumberd as 402L in 1950 and then to 137C in 1956. Confused - you should be. Any number above 179 is the result of renumbering.

  • There are three dynamic brake styles on the roof
    • 100-103 - Square sides but no front or rear box.
    • 104-117 - Rounded sides but no front or rear box
    • 118-179 - Square sides with front and rear box
  • There were two primary headlight treatments, not counting the passenger dual lights.
    • 100-131 - Nose light with chrome insert giving a 2 step appearance (often the chrome was painted over in later repaints).
    • 132-179 - Smooth rounded nose light
    • 158-168 - Used in passenger service with 2 lights, and some survived after being repainted to freight paint and renumbered.
    • 153 in later years had two sealed beam lights in the single nose light area.
  • Paint schemes varied.
    • CATR (BCVT1) - Catwhisker with full red stripe, new 1941-45+)
    • CATR2 (BCVT2) - Catwhisker with nose red stripe only, 1947+
    • CAT (BCNT)- Catwhisker with no stripe (all the above with cream yellow), 1951+
    • FTBL - Full blue with cigar nose logo, 1950-52
    • CAT2 - Catwhisker with bolder yellow (CAT lasted at least to 1953 in some form.)
    • CIG (BYT2) - Cigar band blue and yellow, 1954+ (Design dates October, 1953, although at least one photo is dated 1950, confidently in error, should be 1956)
    • RWB (SRW)- Red Warbonnet passenger scheme, 1945-54
  • Other variations include:
    • Lifting lugs were added beginning in 1951 and very gradually applied to all. Photos from 1956 show some still did not have them. (Hi-Tech Details 331-6020 is the Santa Fe prototype. I assume a photo in the Warbonnet, 1Q 2001 is mis-labeled.)
    • An air line was added around the fuel tank on the engineers side beginning around 1951.
    • Grab irons on the engineer side of the nose and above the windows (eyebrow grabs) began to show up beginning in 1960.
    • Some cab units gained switching footboards on the pilot around 1950.
    • Some of those switching units either as a single A or as an A-B pair received switching footboards on the rear and a steam Golden Glow headlight on the roof (Cal Scale 190-210).
    • Some of the switching units were paired A-A for branch line service.
    • Trucks show two different styles of journals.
    • One locomotive, 185, was upgraded with stainless grills after a wreck and rebuild.
    • Passenger engines with steam generators in the B unit had vents in adjacent doors.
    • At least one locomotive, 144, received a red light in the nose to serve as a marker when in helper service on Cajon.
    • The 111 in one photo had 111L in the large side number boards.

And on the numbers listed above, these are original numbers. For instance, the original 140C had 3rd version dynamics and 2nd version headlights, but it was renumber 137C. The original 109C later became the 140C, and it had 2nd version dynamics and 1st version headlights. So you can see 2 photos of the 140C and will see different locomotives depending on the date of the photo.

There are three items that are not generally modeled on FTs:

The Stewart model of the FT has the passenger pilot. All Santa Fe models, including the locos used in passenger service, should have a freight pilot. The step should be removed. Precision Scale part 585-3208 can be used for pilot steps (3rd Quarter 1997 issue of the Warbonnet).

Other suggested parts include:

  • Speed Recorder-----Detail Assoc. 229-2807, Details West 235-284   
  • Windshield Wipers-----A-Line short 116-29201
  • Air Hoses (A unit pilot)-----Cal Scale  AH 320


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