Saturday, May 27, 2017

Santa Fe's Dieselization of Named Passenger Trains

Carl Venzke posted
Amtrak passenger train no. 18, the eastbound Super Chief-El Capitan (still running entirely with Santa Fe equipment), arriving at Union Station in Chicago, Illinois, on July 4, 1971. Photograph by John F. Bjorklund©2015, Center for Railroad Photography and Art
John Kovac ...regarding Head End Power, when I worked for Santa Fe, the "guideline" was for Manifest and Intermodal trains to always be capable of maintaining District Speed. Not unusual to have 4 units powering the "hotshot" IM TOFC trains like the 198 from Chgo to LA...btw, the 198 was the fastest long distance IM train...44 hours transit time (believe it was very similar to the ATSF pass skeds). My small "claim to fame" when in charge of ATSF IM Perishables, was the design, and operation (with CR's Mail Train) for a 100 hour elapsed time COAST TO COAST ( LA to NYC ) for the veggies from CA to NY.
Dennis DeBruler I heard that when Santa Fe first started using diesels on their hot shot passenger trains, a diesel specialist would ride the train all the way just in case there were any problems.
John Kovac Yes. John Sheds Reed, the Chairman of ATSF, took a personal interest in the Super Chief and the other name trains. We were sent to the EMD plant in La Grange IL to learn how to trouble shoot and fix "on the run". Mr. Reed went as far as personally handing an orchid to each of the ladies on the Super Chief's last run. After Amtrak took over, while the Super Chief name was still associated with ATSF, I rode the head end of No.4 and reported a delay due to "insufficient power" going over Raton, by the time the consist arrived LA, there was a brand new Warbonnet waiting to "assist" the soon to be departing #4, and Argentine did the same for the Westbounds. In the Power Bureau and Dispatch Centers, if you delayed "Mr Reed's Trains" you may as well turn in your Daily Time Card since you would not ever need it again. ATSF - First Class all the way !
John Kovac ...can't type, stubby fingers, but #3 was Westbound / #4 was Eastbound.

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