Super Chief Luggage Sticker

I’ve posted a few images of luggage stickers that I’ve found on the web, but this sticker is from my actual collection. Such stickers have been reproduced as tin signs, on t-shirts and hats, and in other ways. However, I feel pretty certain that this is a genuine Santa Fe article and not a reproduction.


Click image to download a 0.2-MB PDF of this luggage sticker.

Santa Fe Passenger Trains

Someone worked hard to compile this list of more than 150 named Santa Fe passenger trains, the numbers they used, the years they operated, and their terminal cities. The brief intro says it is based on timetables from 1876, 1886 though 1890, 1893, 1894, and 1902 through 1971.


Click image to download a 2.5-MB PDF of this 2-page brochure.

The brochure doesn’t actually say that it was published by the Santa Fe Railway, but the odd paper size–9 inches by 24 inches–and blue printing makes me think that it was. Railfan groups would normally use 8-1/2×11 paper. In any case, it is a useful reference.

7-Day Tour of Southern California

For a mere $200 (nearly $1,400 in today’s money), a Chicago traveler could take a trip on the El Capitan and spend four days, three nights, in the Los Angeles area, including visits to Hollywood, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Disneyland. The price included transportation, entrance fees, hotels, and meals en route but not while in California.


Click image to download a 1.8-MB PDF of this three-panel, OCRed brochure. Click here to download a non-OCR version.

Personally, I would be disappointed in a tour that allowed me only 5-1/2 hours in Disneyland and 2-1/2 hours in Knott’s Berry Farm. But at least the tourists got to see the Chemosphere House, the “space-age home of the future” (not!).

Tulsan and Oil Flyer Timetable

On December 9, 1939, Santa Fe inaugurated the streamlined Tulsan between Tulsa and Kansas City, where it met the Chicagoan/Kansas Cityan. The all-coach day train made the 256-mile trip in five hours for an average speed of 51 mph.


Click image to download a 0.7-MB PDF of this OCRed timetable. Click here to download a non-OCR version.

The Tulsan was complemented by the Oil Flyer, which went overnight southbound at a more leisurely pace allowing passengers up to seven hours of sleep. Northbound, the train took less than six hours, leaving at 4:10 pm and arriving in Kansas City at 10:00 pm. The Oil Flyer actually entered service in 1925, and remained a heavyweight train until well after the war.

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Chicagoan and Kansas Cityan Timetable

Wikipedia says the demonym for Kansas City is Kansas Citian, but Santa Fe named its Chicago-to-Dallas via Kansas City streamlined train the Kansas Cityan. When the train went in the reverse direction, it was called the Chicagoan. Originally, the trains were numbered 11 and 12, but in 1966, when this timetable was printed, the southbound train was numbered 19–meaning it was combined with the Chief–to Kansas City, then changed to number 11 to Dallas. Northbound, it was number 12 all the way.


Click image to download a 0.7-MB PDF of this OCRed timetable. Click here to download a non-OCR version.

Heavyweight trains of the same names operated between Chicago and Kansas City from 1916 to 1929. When Santa Fe acquired its first fleet of streamliners in 1938, it reused the names for the Chicago-Kansas City day trains which consisted of a baggage/RPO, three coaches, a coach-lounge, diner, and parlor observation car.

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Grand Canyon Timetable Card

This card presents the 1966 timetable for the Grand Canyon, with westbound on the front and eastbound on the back. The card is in the same format as the timetables in the timetables of principal trains, though with differences in detail.


Click image to download a 0.9-MB PDF of this two-sided timetable card.

Perhaps most important, trains 15 and 16, which went from Williams Junction to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, is not on the 1966 timetable, perhaps because it was issued before the tourist season opened. Santa Fe continued to run this train during the summers through 1968. Cards like this one were probably made available to passengers on board the trains so they could keep track of where they were and whether the train was on time.

Operations Spuds

This menu was printed for dinner on June 7, 1953, on a special train moving potatoes from California to the East. Apparently, Santa Fe attached passenger cars to the end of the train to give farmers a chance to see how their crops were treated by the railway.


Click image to download a 1.9-MB PDF of this menu. Click here to download an OCR version.

“The world’s greatest potato race!” proclaims the menu. “Thanks for coming on the Santa Fe, to travel up front with spuds in the back, and see all along the way how potatoes get the fastest track!” The menu has an inner page attached to the cover with a black tassel.

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Santa Fe 1963 Timetable

The train schedules in this full timetable are pretty similar to those in yesterday’s timetable of principal trains. The extra space in this version is used for an index of stations, schedules of connecting trains on other railroads, and a more complete list of agents.


Click image to download a 22.7-MB PDF of this 32-page, OCRed timetable. Click here to download a non-OCR version.

This timetable (and yesterday’s more compact version) still advertised the California Special westward from Houston. Specifically, according to the schedule, trains 65 & 66 from Houston to Temple bore that name. From Temple to Clovis, trains 75 and 76 seemed to be unnamed. From Clovis to San Francisco, though Houston-California cars were carried on the San Francisco Chief, while cars to Los Angeles were shunted onto the Grand Canyon at Barstow. Although there’s no longer through cars to New Orleans, the California Special connected at Houston with Missouri Pacific trains 50 and 51 to New Orleans.

Santa Fe 1961 Timetables of Principal Trains

This is Santa Fe’s version of what other railroads called a “condensed” timetable, with schedules of major trains, equipment, a small map, and a brief list of fares. The “principal train” include the Super Chief, Chief, El Capitan, San Francisco Chief, Grand Canyon, Texas Chief, daytime Kansas Cityan-Chicagoan, overnight Kansas City Chief, the daytime Tulsan, overnight Oil Flyer, San Diegan, Golden Gate, and unnamed connecting trains to Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Houston, Phoenix, and a few other places. Santa Fe discontinued the heavyweight California Limited in 1954, leaving the Grand Canyon (minus the “limited”) as the only named heavyweight train.


Click image to download a 12.3-MB PDF of this 36-page timetable. Click here to download an OCR version.

By this time, the Super Chief and El Capitan operated on identical schedules. The trains were combined during the off-peak season, but with separate diners and lounges and a gate between the two. Strangely, the schedule also notes that during summer and holiday periods–when the two trains ran separately a few minutes apart–the Super Chief included its own coaches “with separate dining room and lounge car for chair car passengers.” The extra fare to ride the El Capitan from Chicago to Los Angeles was $5, while the extra fare to ride the Super Chief chair cars was only $2.

Santa Fe 1953 Timetable

In 1953, the Santa Fe still ran numerous heavyweight trains. The Super Chief and El Capitan are now daily, and the all-Pullman Chief has been completely streamlined and takes about six hours longer to go from Chicago to L.A. than the other two premiere trains. The heavyweight California Limited is no longer an all-Pullman train and takes about a day longer to get from Chicago to L.A. than the Super Chief or El Capitan.


Click image to download a 32.2-MB PDF of this 48-page, OCRed timetable. Click here to download a non-OCR version.

Santa Fe dropped the Navajo from the timetable in 1939. While the Scout was still listed in 1953, since 1949 it was merely a connecting train to the California Limited on Santa Fe’s southern route through the Texas panhandle; after 1953, the name would be dropped completely. The Grand Canyon Limited is shown as two trains, a northern section through La Junta, Colorado and a southern section through Amarillo, Texas. For some reason, the westbound southern section arrived in Barstow ten minutes before the northern section, but left ten minutes after.

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