Super Chief - Equipment Used

Equipment Used

The first motive power set on Super Chief-1 consisted of a pair of blunt-nosed, diesel-electric units (EMC 1800 hp B-B) designated as Nos. 1 and 1A. Santa Fe employees quickly hung the nicknames "One-Spot Twins" and "Amos & Andy" (from the popular radio show of the day) on the units, which were always paired and ran back-to-back. In a little over a year the EMC E1, a new and improved 3,600 hp (2.7 MW) streamlined diesel-electric locomotive set (one hood unit and the other a cabless booster unit) would be pulling Super Chief consists.

A variety of state-of-the-art locomotives (including ALCO PAs, EMD E6s, FTs, F3s, F7s, and FP45s, along with Santa Fe's only ALCO DL-107/108s and FM Erie-built units) would make their appearances on the line in the succeeding years. All wore the now-familiar Warbonnet paint scheme devised by Leland Knickerbocker of the GM "Art and Color Section" that debuted on the Super Chief-2.

The Super Chief-1's mostly-heavyweight original consist included:

  • EMC "Boxcab" Diesel Locomotive #1
  • EMC "Boxcab" Diesel Locomotive #1A
  • Baggage-Club-Lounge #1301 Chief Yellow Bear (also included a barber shop)
  • Sleeper (lightweight)Forward (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms) (see NOTE immediately below)
  • Lounge General Hancock (10 sections)
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner #1468 (30 seats)
  • Sleeper Glen Frazer (6 compartments, 3 drawing rooms)
  • Sleeper Clover Knoll (8 sections, 5 double bedrooms)
  • Lounge-Observation Crystal View (3 compartments, 2 drawing rooms)

NOTE: Lightweight sleeper Forward was built in the summer of 1936 as the first Pullman sleeping car utilizing the "alloy-steel truss frame" method. This car was an addition to the first (heavyweight) Super Chief consist in November 1936 (after early diesel units 1-A, 1-B and leased 1-C had proved their ability to maintain the rigorous schedule). It was built unpainted with fluted sides but was painted dark grey with black and gold striping for use on the Santa Fe. Forward was built in the same period as the articulated set Advance and Progress (constructed in August 1936), which were later used on the early C&NW/UP/SP Chicago-San Francisco "Forty-Niner" which used semi-streamlined heavyweight dining, lounge and sleeping cars with the articulated set on the rear renamed Bear Flag and California Republic. See Joe Welsh, Travel by Pullman, MBI Publishing, 2004.

In May 1937, the heavyweight equipment used on the Super Chief was replaced with all lightweight stainless steel cars built by the Budd Company (the heavyweight cars were placed back in service with the Chief). For the new lightweight train (the Super Chief-2), the equipment used was as follows:

  • EMC E1A Locomotive #2
  • EMC E1B Locomotive #2A
  • Railway Post Office-Mail Storage #3400 (transferred to the San Diegan prior to entering revenue service)
  • Baggage-Mail #3430
  • Sleeper Isleta (8 sections, 2 compartments, 1 drawing room)
  • Sleeper Laguna (8 sections, 2 compartments, 1 drawing room)
  • Dormitory-Lounge #1370 Acoma (also included a barber shop)
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner #1474 Cochiti (36 seats) – now on permanent display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, California
  • Sleeper Oraibi (2 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Taos (2 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper-Lounge-Observation Navajo (3 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom); now on permanent display at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado.

The sleeping cars in this consist were operated by Pullman but were owned by the Santa Fe. The car names were chosen to commemorate the Native American tribes, pueblos, and cities found along the railroad's route.

On February 26, 1938 the consist was modified somewhat:

  • EMC E1A Locomotive #2
  • EMC E1B Locomotive #2A
  • Baggage-Dormitory-Buffet Lounge #1386 San Clemente
  • Sleeper Tuba (17 roomettes)
  • Sleeper Isleta (8 sections, 2 compartments, 1 drawing room)
  • Sleeper Taos (2 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Dormitory-Lounge #1370 Acoma (also included a barber shop)
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner #1474 Cochiti (36 seats)
  • Sleeper Oraibi (2 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Laguna (8 sections, 2 compartments, 1 drawing room)
  • Sleeper-Lounge-Observation Navajo (3 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom)

The railroad also added another trainset (the Super Chief-2½) utilizing sleeping cars borrowed from the Chief in order to handle the high demand for passage aboard the train. Its original consist was as follows:

  • EMC E1A Locomotive #3
  • EMC E1B Locomotive #3A
  • Baggage-Dormitory-Buffet Lounge car #1387 San Acacia
  • Sleeper Chinle (17 roomettes)
  • Sleeper Wupatki (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Klethla (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Dormitory-Lounge #1377 Agathla (also included a barber shop)
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner #1485 Awatobi (36 seats)
  • Sleeper Polacca (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Yampai (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper-Lounge-Observation Chaistla (4 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom)

On July 2 of that year the permanent Super Chief-3 consist was established:

  • EMC E1A Locomotive #3
  • EMC E1B Locomotive #3A
  • Baggage-Dormitory-Buffet-Lounge #1387 San Acacia
  • Sleeper Chimayo (17 roomettes)
  • Sleeper Talwiwi (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Tchirge (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Dormitory-Lounge #1377 Agathla (also included a barber shop)
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner #1485 Awatobi (36 seats)
  • Sleeper Tsankawi (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Tyuonyi (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper-Lounge-Observation Puye (4 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom)

Beginning in 1947, a typical Super Chief consist:

  • EMD FTA Locomotive #163L
  • EMD FTB Locomotive #163A
  • EMD FTB Locomotive #163B
  • EMD FTA Locomotive #163C
  • Baggage-Buffet-Lounge #1384 San Ignacio (also included a barber shop)
  • Sleeper Toroweap (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Tonto (17 roomettes)
  • Sleeper Moencopi (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Jadito (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Dormitory-Club-Lounge #1375 Moencopi
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner (36 seats) #1484
  • Sleeper Kietsiel (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Hualapai (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Segatoa (8 sections, 2 compartments, 2 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper-Lounge-Observation Coconino (4 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom)

A typical Super Chief consist from 1948 to 1951:

  • EMD F3A Locomotive #17L
  • EMD F3B Locomotive #17A
  • EMD F3B Locomotive #17B
  • EMD F3A Locomotive #17C
  • Baggage #3446
  • Baggage-Buffet-Lounge #1383 San Simon (also included a barber shop)
  • Sleeper Blue Grove (10 roomettes, 2 compartments, 3 double bedrooms)*
  • Sleeper Blue Point (10 roomettes, 2 compartments, 3 double bedrooms)*
  • Sleeper Regal Town (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Dormitory-Club-Lounge #1392
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner (36 seats) #1493
  • Sleeper Regal Pass (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Regal Center (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Blue Springs (10 roomettes, 2 compartments, 3 double bedrooms)*
  • Lounge-Observation Vista Canyon (4 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom)
*NOTE: The nineteen "10-2-3" sleepers in the Blue series had a floorplan configuration unique to the Santa Fe.

In the 1940s and into the 1950s, the Super Chief occasionally interchanged sleepers with other railroads in order to provide "coast-to-coast" sleeping car service. In those instances, sleepers from eastern connections would take the place of Regal– or Pine–series cars:

  • (Pine Leaf, Gem, Creek, Pass, Ring, Beach) — Baltimore and Ohio Railroad "10-6" from Washington, D.C. off the Capitol Limited via Chicago to San Diego (the longest Pullman run in the United States).
  • (Pine Arroyo, Brook, Dale, Island, Cove, Fern) — New York Central "10-6" from New York off the 20th Century Limited via Chicago to L.A.
  • (Regal Gate, Gulf, Arms, Creek, Town, Court) — New York Central "4-4-2" from New York off the 20th Century Limited via Chicago to L.A.
  • (Regal Ruby, River, Spa, City, Inn, Ring) — Pennsylvania Railroad "4-4-2" from New York off the Broadway Limited via Chicago to L.A.

A typical Super Chief consist from 1951 to 1956:

  • EMD F7A Locomotive #38L
  • EMD F7B Locomotive #38A
  • EMD F7B Locomotive #38B
  • EMD F7A Locomotive #38C
  • Baggage #3415
  • Railway Post Office #83
  • Baggage-Buffet-Lounge (also included a barber shop) #1385 San Pascal
  • Sleeper Palm Top (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Pine Arroyo (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Regal Corps (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • "Turquoise Room"-"Pleasure Dome"-Lounge #502
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner (48 seats) #605
  • Dormitory-Club-Lounge Car #1343
  • Sleeper Regal Hunt (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Regal Manor (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Palm Lore (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper-Lounge-Observation Vista Club (4 drawing rooms, 1 double bedroom)

A typical Super Chief consist from the early 1960s (all-Pullman section):

  • EMD F7A Locomotive #303L
  • EMD F7B Locomotive #303A
  • EMD F7B Locomotive #19A
  • EMD F7A Locomotive #44L
  • Baggage #3544
  • Sleeper Palm Summit (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Pine Lodge (10 Roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Indian Drum (11 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Regal Isle (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • "Turquoise Room"-"Pleasure Dome"-Lounge #501
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner (48 seats) #606
  • Sleeper Regal Crest (4 compartments, 2 drawing rooms, 4 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Indian Pony (11 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Palm Leaf (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Pine Range (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)

A typical Super Chief consist from the late 1960s (combined with El Capitan):

  • EMD FP45 Locomotive #104
  • EMD FP45 Locomotive #101
  • Baggage #3671
  • Baggage #3553
  • Baggage-Dormitory "Transition Car" #3478
  • Hi-Level "Chair car" / Coach (68 Seats) #549
  • Hi-Level "Chair car" / Coach (72 Seats) #731
  • Hi-Level Diner (80 seats) #654
  • Hi-Level Lounge (88 seats) #575
  • Hi-Level "Chair car" / Coach (72 Seats) #725
  • Hi-Level "Chair car" / Coach (68 Seats) #542
  • Sleeper Pine Cove (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Indian Mesa (11 double bedrooms)
  • "Turquoise Room"-"Pleasure Dome"-Lounge #504
  • Fred Harvey Company Diner (48 seats) #600
  • Sleeper Indian Flute (11 double bedrooms)
  • Sleeper Palm Leaf (10 roomettes, 6 double bedrooms)

Read more about this topic:  Super Chief

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