About the Santa Fe Historical Society

More Memories of D. K. Spencer
Santa Fe's Parade Train
Circa 1940íS

This little train was a popular sight in many parades of the 1940ís and 1950ís. It was built by the men in the Topeka car shops, and it traveled the system in itís own specially fitted, end door box car, accompanied by the "engineer" assigned to itís care and maintenance.

I believe it was built on a small truck chassis, and powered by an internal combustion engine. It sported a bell, and may have had a smoke generation system I would guess the height of the locomotive and cars as about 5 foot tall, and each car about 8 foot long, and about 4 foot wide.

Each type of car bore the proper colors, and stenciling. I believe the consist was a box car; a refrigerator car; a stock car; a tank car; a flat car; and a caboose, plus the engine and tender.

The locomotive cab was big enough for the engineer to drive the train, from the left side, with a firemanís seat that was usually designated for the Agent of the station involved, or whoever the Agent wanted to do the job. The fireman had not only the responsibility of ringing the bell, but watching out for any problems with bystanders. I had the "pleasure" of being the fireman during one parade, but on a hot day, the inside was sweltering, since there was no air conditioning. No one was allowed to ride in or on any of the cars if my memory serves me right.


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