Only two sets of F3's were purchased by the Santa Fe for freight
service. Locomotives 200LABC and 201LABC were delivered in October
and November 1948 just before EMD shifted production to the F7.
Santa Fe had concentrated on early F3 purchases for use as passenger
locomotives in order to dieselize all of the remaining major passenger
trains on the system and by the time that was accomplished, the
F7 was ready to enter production.
In external appearance the 200LABC and 201LABC were nearly indistinguishable
from F7's since late production F3's featured low roof fans, stainless
steel grilles and the same porthole/side louver arrangement that
was carried over into F7 production (in contrast to the "dead give-away"
three porthole feature of early F3's). Their single external feature
that identified them as F3's was the slit type dynamic brake openings
in the roof.
These units were mechanically upgraded to F7 standards early on
except they retained the F3 style dynamic brakes for their entire
careers. That the Santa Fe did not consider them as a separate class
points out just how close they were mechanically to the freight
F7's that followed.
Stewart has just released an F3A in Santa Fe freight colors that
represents the cab units of these two locomotive sets very well.
Matching B-units are scheduled for summer 1992 delivery according
to sources attending the recent Chicago hobby show. Stewart followed
the EMD painting color specifications correctly for units as-built
prior to 1953 (i.e. black roof. Unfortunately however, the contour
of the "vee" in the roof striping is incorrect (but better than
anything heretofore available). The 'Santa Fe' nose badge color
is also incorrect-a problem easily solved using Champ's nose badge
All locomotives in the 200 class through 268 were delivered in
the "catwhisker" paint scheme. Refer to the FT styling diagram for
painting and lettering of the as delivered paint scheme.