Just a couple of weeks out of the San Bernardino shops after its conversion to passenger service, FT 163LABC hauls the eastbound Chief through Pasadena California -Stan Kistler

Road numbers 158LABC through 168LABC

The Santa Fe's first passenger F-unit was FT locomotive 167LABC which was built with gearing and equipment for passenger service by EMD at Santa Fe's request in February 1945. Originally delivered in freight colors, it was tested in passenger service and was apparently successful enough as a passenger engine that it was repainted into the red and silver passenger scheme similar to that used on the 2 class E1's

Between April and August 1946 ten more A-B-B-A sets, road numbers 158LABC through 166LABC were removed from freight service and converted to passenger configuration by the Santa Fe. These locomotives were used in passenger service as a stopgap until enough newer F3 and F7 types had been purchased to dieselize all major passenger trains. One of the big reasons for converting the FT's to passenger service was that doing so enabled the railroad to dispense with helper service over Raton Pass. The dynamic brakes were also useful on the long downgrade in western Arizona allowing better train handling.

These eleven A-B-B-A FT sets wore the red/silver passenger colors during their brief stint as passenger engines, but all of them were eventually converted back into freight configuration and were repainted in freight colors with some of them receiving the solid blue experimental paint of 1951 - 52.

Some were converted back to freight service after only two years as passenger engines, most lasted four years in passenger service, and 167LABC and 168LA made it for five years as passenger engines. Units 167BC were renumbered to 415LA and retained their passenger colors for a while for use on the Phoenix-Ash Fork passenger train. They were eventually converted back to freight, probably sometime in 1953. Some kept their dual headlights and steam generators for a time, but these items were eventually removed from most of them.

Hallmark produced an FT A and B set in brass around 1970. This A-B-B-A set was painted in passenger colors and is shown here in charge of the eastbound California Limited at Spearville on the author's layout. The addition of a lower headlight was the only modification to these models.

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