The central purpose of a historical society is to make resources available to the public. The Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society brings resources to the public in a wide variety of ways, including through its publications, its Temple, Texas and San Bernardino, California archives, its online resources, and its Facebook group. Members also have access to additional materials and forums in the Member Area. This page highlights some of what is available.
The Society is pleased to make a small part of its collection available online to assist Santa Fe fans and modelers. The offerings are subject to periodic change, so feel free to check back to see if new information is available! Our online resource offerings are presently under development, but will shortly include the following as we transition them from our old server to our new one:
Santa Fe company documents. This page includes company building records, joint facilities records (tabular data), industry track records (tabular data), bridge records, water service records, rules, forms, timetables, (both public and employee), schedules, and promotional materials. It should be noted that similar records differ from grand division to grand division. For example it appears that the Western Lines kept both the joint facilities records and the industry track records in tables as well as line maps while the Eastern Lines only kept the data on line maps. Both the Coast Lines and the Gulf Lines added sketches to the building records, while the Eastern and Western Lines usually did not.
Drawings from the Society’s archives and publications. Drawings will include motive power, rolling stock, bridges, and structures.
Maps and Charts. This section will include junction records, track charts, joint facilities records (line maps), industry track records (line maps), and station plats.
Photos from the Society’s archives. Photos from both the Temple and Western Archives include motive power (steam, diesel, and motor cars), rolling stock (passenger, freight, and maintenance of way), structures, and trains. There is a separate page for each category. Click on the category you wish to visit.
Additional materials for Santa Fe modelers are located on the Modeling page.
These materials are rotated periodically to bring more of the collection to the public, so plan to check back at least quarterly to see what new information has been added! Better yet, join the Society and have access to an extensive collection of materials always available in the Members Area, including more photos, drawings, timetables, track charts, company documents, company forms (both prototype and model), promotional materials, and curated material produced by Society members.
Temple, Texas Archives
The Society’s central archives are housed at the Railroad and Heritage Museum in Temple, Texas, which is located in the former Santa Fe depot. At Temple, extensive collections are maintained by a dedicated, full-time archivist supported by volunteers. The Temple Archives are home to several important collections, both of the Society and other donors. Major collections include:
- The collection of Robert Pounds
- The massive (23 ton) collection of Richard Scholz
The Temple Archives are open by appointment with Craig Ordner, the Archivist. Information about accessing information at the Temple Archives can be obtained by contacting Craig Ordner, Temple Archivist (a Railroad and Heritage Museum employee), (254) 298-5190, or Bill Childers, Central Archives Oversight Officer (Society coordinator).
The Temple Archives also maintains a store with a number of resources readily available for Santa Fe fans and modelers.
San Bernardino, California Archives
The Society’s western archives are housed at the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum in San Bernardino, California, which is located in the former Santa Fe depot. At San Bernardino, an extensive collection of Coast Lines and other materials are maintained, including artifacts, photographs, slides, and an extensive set of train sheets, which list all trains over the line in several California locations. The San Bernardino archives maintains a store with a number of resources readily available to Santa Fe fans and modelers.
The San Bernardino Archives are open by appointment with the Oversight Officer. Information about the San Bernardino Archives can be obtained by contacting Dave Snell, San Bernardino Archives Oversight Officer (Society coordinator), (909) 529-0081.
The Society maintains links of interest to other sites with good information for Santa Fe historians, fans and modelers.
- Historical Society Sites
- Prototype Sites
- Index of Model Railroading magazines
- Operation Lifesaver
The Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society has an extensive collection of materials related to the history of the Santa Fe Railroad and it’s predecessors. These pertain to management, construction, structures and operations but do not include any personnel records.
To the best of our knowledge, the majority of Santa Fe Railroad and Railway personnel records prior to the 1930’s no longer exist. During mergers and reorganizations such material was seen as of no further corporate use and was destroyed. In this era of litigation, the Santa Fe like most railroads, do not allow access to what personnel records that may have survived. Our historical society in consequence has none of this type of material.
After 1936 the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board has kept records of railroad employees and for a fee will research their records for dead employees. See http://www.rrb.gov/geneal.html
From Ed Dabbler October 1999:
I have offered these additional reference sources in my response to questions. These include Miss Ellen Halteman, Librarian, California State Railroad Museum, 111 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916.445.6645, and email “firstname.lastname@example.org” and an article entitled “Railroad Records for Genealogical Research” by Wendy L. Elliott, published in Vol. 75, No. 4 (December 1987, pp. 271-277 of the Genealogical Society Quarterly. The address for the Genealogical Society is 4527 Seventeenth Street North, Arlington, VA 22207-2363