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  1. #1

    Athearn FP45 & Super Chief

    If this has already been covered apologies but I can't find the answer to whether or not the FP45's would have been appropriate power at any stage for the Super Chief as recently issued by Kato. I assumed from what I've read that the Super Chief and El Capitan got combined around 1968 and all the pics I've seen of the units on this train have hi-level cars in the consist.
    One source (can't remember where) suggested that they may have run as two sections during the summer months.
    There is one picture on Railpictures.net of 102+104 on the Super Chief in Chicago in Aug 1968 but only the first two coaches are visible, both lo-level ones.

    Any help appreciated.

    Paul

  2. #2
    Yes they would work. W/O the obs. During the holiday rush the train (Super-ElCap) was run in two sections. I took photos with two FP-45s on one section and two F-45s and a steam generator car on the other section.
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  3. #3
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    According to my research and memories the answer is yes.

    To continue Wig Wag's thoughts on the subject. Several, (actual number unknown to me) cavalry blue pin stripe F45's, FP45's in the Red and Silver War bonnet and one FP45 dressed in the cavalry blue and yellow war bonnet were known to pull the Super Chief, Chief and combined trains up until Amtrak took over.

    Human interest perhaps: One of Santa Fe's presidents was heard to say he was going to go Blue with all the passenger locomotives. Not that I would approve but I don't remember him asking me...grin!
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  4. #4
    Thanks, guys.
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  5. #5
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    I ordered some of these also. But to confirm what others have said, here's a photo of The Super Chief I took in the summer of 1970. Note that the FP45's had been renumbered by that time.


  6. #6
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    Yeah, and my understanding always was that the F45's were equipped with passthru steam generator lines, so it is proper practice to see an FP45 on front possibly leading an F45.

    They were also on-and-off Amtrak in the first two years. ATSF finished up until 1970 with the FP45's and F45's like the above picture until May 1, 1971. Then they took a group of the 300-class F-units and sent them to Amtrak as leased power and ran those. I rode Amtrak in July '72 and it was all F-units. Then there was a brief period where the F-unit reliability was SO BAD that ATSF banned the units on at least the Super Chief and put their own FP45/F45's back on the point until the Amtrak SDP40 F's were delivered. Sometimes you'd see F45's with F-units to provide the steam generator. This is March 1973 at Flagstaff:

    http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=106558


    So the REALLY rare shots (and I've seen a couple) is the FP/F's leading rainbow consists or early Amtrak stripes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Leonard View Post
    I ordered some of these also. But to confirm what others have said, here's a photo of The Super Chief I took in the summer of 1970. Note that the FP45's had been renumbered by that time.


    That is some curve that is being negotiated. A double S? Probably a no-no for a home layout. I've always liked the look of the FP45's. Too late for my modeling period but tempting.


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  8. #8
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    I have a W&R FP45 in the Yellow and Blue Warbonnet I am going to detail and put into service on some hot piggybacks. It may get passenger service once in awhile too.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarstowRick View Post
    Human interest perhaps: One of Santa Fe's presidents was heard to say he was going to go Blue with all the passenger locomotives. Not that I would approve but I don't remember him asking me...grin!
    Reminds me of reading about a couple of other speculative what if's attributed to a retired Santa Fe president. The first was that if they had known Amtrak was only going to run the Super Chief, Texas Chief and San Diegans, they wouldn't have joined Amtrak and kept running the passenger trains themselves for the P.R. and goodwill they generated. The second, a bit more far fetched, was that if they had known in the fifties that passenger business would drop off during the sixties and be gone altogether by the end of 1971, they would have given the best of the Northerns that still had potentially many years of life left in them thorough rebuilds to see out the days of the passenger trains, and so eliminate the need for investment in new passenger diesels that would see only a few years in their intended use.

    Admittedly this is fantasyland stuff, but it gives food for the imagination. F40PH's and P42's in red warbonnet, or maybe SD45's sharing the ready tracks with 4-8-4's.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westfalen View Post
    Reminds me of reading about a couple of other speculative what if's attributed to a retired Santa Fe president. The first was that if they had known Amtrak was only going to run the Super Chief, Texas Chief and San Diegans, they wouldn't have joined Amtrak and kept running the passenger trains themselves for the P.R. and goodwill they generated. The second, a bit more far fetched, was that if they had known in the fifties that passenger business would drop off during the sixties and be gone altogether by the end of 1971, they would have given the best of the Northerns that still had potentially many years of life left in them thorough rebuilds to see out the days of the passenger trains, and so eliminate the need for investment in new passenger diesels that would see only a few years in their intended use.

    Admittedly this is fantasyland stuff, but it gives food for the imagination. F40PH's and P42's in red warbonnet, or maybe SD45's sharing the ready tracks with 4-8-4's.
    I had read that Santa Fe decided only at the literal last minute (within a month or so0 to join Amtrak and only did so because they knew that to provide their quality service, they needed to invest in new passenger equipment and the loss from that would've been too much of a burden.

    As far as retaining steam for passenger service, that would've been a stretch on several counts. Look at the N&W, their locos had well above average availability (better than most dieselized roads) and made money (at the time, N&W had one of the LOWEST operating ratios of any railroad).....BUT parts were getting hard to obtain (even after buying patterns for a lot of the parts they used), labor and fuel costs were going up at a rapid pace. This would've held true for the Santa Fe as well. BUT, it's nice to wonder...what if!
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