En Route on the Chief

In 1926, the Chief replaced the California Limited as Santa Fe’s premiere train, with a faster schedule, extra fare, and, of course, an all-Pullman consist. The Indian images used to promote the train later inspired the warbonnet paint scheme used on Santa Fe streamlined passenger locomotives. Some beautiful early ads for the Chief were previously shown here.


Click image to download a PDF of this letterhead.

As previously noted, the Chief and its 63-hour Chicago-Los Angeles schedule was introduced on the same November day that the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, and Golden State Limited were re-equipped and their schedules also reduced to 63 hours. I always have to wonder whether the railroads colluded to have such similar schedules or if they merely read their competitors’ press releases and hustled to match whatever specifications were being introduced on other roads.


Click image to download a PDF of this postcard.

At least three of the people standing by the train in this postcard showing the Chief stopped in Dodge City, Kansas, have been added in by photo retouchers. The card was postmarked April 2, 1929, from Dodge City and sent to someone in Minnesota with the message, “Just making a 30 minute stop; nice to get out for some air.” Of course, this was before air conditioning.


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