The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was founded in 1860 to connect the towns of Atchison (the eastern terminus was quickly changed to Topeka) Kansas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, although the line technically ended just south of Santa Fe in Lamy. By the 20th century, the Santa Fe, as it’s commonly called, stretched from Chicago to San Francisco, with routes south to Galveston, Texas, and north to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Model-train enthusiasts like to collect Santa Fe locomotives and passenger cars for their history as well as their style. Foremost among these are the F-series locomotives that appeared after World War II, with their warbonnet paint scheme in red and silver, accented by yellow. These engines pulled Super Chief and El Capitan trains along its popular Chicago-to-Los Angeles route.
One of of the many model-train manufacturers that produced the Santa Fe F3 diesel locomotive was Lionel, which introduced its O-gauge version in 1948. Until then, kids had only East Coast and Midwestern trains to play with, but the Santa Fe F3, model number 2333, became the Lionel to own. In the 1950s, the locomotive was upgraded and its model number was changed to 2343.
Other model-train manufacturers whose Santa Fe stock is popular with collectors include American Flyer, Kato, Athearn, and MTH, There are also brass trains bearing the Santa Fe logo imported from Japan and Korea by Hallmark, Westside, Key, and others.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Airfix Model Railways
Postwar Lionel Trains Library
Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT
Clubs & Associations
- Train Collectors Association
- National Model Railroad Association
- Lionel Collectors Club of America
- Toy Train Operating Society
- National Association of S Gaugers, Inc.
- Train Collectors Society (U.K.)
- Lionel Operating Train Society