Plans for Model Railroaders

Leland Knickerbocker’s warbonnet paint scheme helped make the Santa Fe a favorite among model railroaders. In 1953, with the help of Model Railroader magazine, the railway published this large (nearly 11″x14″), 48-page booklet stuffed with 1/4″-to-the-foot plans (U.S. O scale) for steam and Diesel locomotives, heavyweight and streamlined passenger cars, and freight cars. The plans are accompanied by photographs and there is also a page describing the colors used on various parts of locomotives and cars.

Click image to download a 50.8-MB PDF of this booklet.

“Prototype diesel locomotives are more difficult to build and more expensive than comparable steam locomotives but in model railroading it’s just the opposite,” says the booklet. To model an E6 locomotive, for example, the booklet suggests buying wheels, motor, and gearing from a commercial manufacturer and then making the body of brass, tin, wood, fiberboard, or cardboard.


Plans for Model Railroaders — 1 Comment

  1. Very nice booklet, thanks for posting it. I think I purchased this plan book in 1956 or so when I was developing an interest in model railroading. It was 50 cents as remember, a princely sum for an 11 year old. Like many kids at the time, my trains were Lionel, and I wanted better scale models than what Lionel provided. I built many a freight car from these plans and well remember balsa wood, bristol board, and soldering.


Leave a Reply