Rapido Trains Rr-56 Refrigerator car (HO)

Rapido Trains has announced a Santa Fe Class Rr-56 reefer in HO scale. The prototype cars first appeared in 1955. The Rr-56 were classed as “all purpose” mechanical temperature control (MTC) cars by the Santa Fe.  200 cars were built, numbered 2100 to 2188 and 2500 to 2510.  Delivered in SFRD, they were changed in 1963 to SRFP with the same numbers.  Even today some of these cars serve on the Burlington Northern as buffer cars and M-O-W cars, a role they also had on the Santa Fe.
These cars overlap the ice bunker refrigerator car era by twenty years and these mechanical reefers could be seen trains mixed in with the ice bunker cars.

The model is based upon original blueprints and drawings with artwork from original drawings and photos.  Separate door posts, door latches and coupler cut levers, fully detailed underframe, including piping and mechanical equipment, Kadee #158 whisker couplers, roof hatch can be open or closed.  Includes a model Trane diesel generator with an optional sound unit.  Ordering information available at https://rapidotrains.com/products/ho-scale/freight-cars/ho-scale-atsf-rr-56-mechanical-reefer

Bob Chaparro, John B. Moore, Greg Silva, and Keith Jordan, all of whom were a wealth of knowledge, resources and suggestions, and were quick to respond to Rapido’s questions and needs. Later on, Steve Sandifer and John Signor also contributed to this project.

Thanks to member Bob Chaparro for the note and comments; images courtesy of Rapido Trains website.

Walthers: Late 1960s Combined Super Chief / El Capitan (HO)

WalthersProto has released a late 1960s Combined Super Chief / El Capitan in HO scale.  The train consists of 11 cars in all, a mix of Hi-Level and conventional, including 11 Double-Bedroom Sleerps and a steam Generator Car.  All cars come fully assembled with prototypically tinted windows as appropriate, factory-installed grab irons, factory-printed names and numbers, or decals for easy customizing and modeler-installed extended drawbars for 22″ radius curves. Walthers will also offer new versions of popular Santa Fe models past and present that include the Hi-Level 72-Seat Coach, Big Dome Bar Lounge, and plated, unlettered versions of other equipment. Based on units #306LAB through #314LAB as they appeared in the late 1960s, WalthersProto EMD F7s in classic Warbonnet colors will be available separately with LokSound 5 Sound and DCC for DCC and DC layouts, and in Standard DC versions. For a complete list of models and delivery dates, please see the enclosed, or visit www.walthers.com/super-chief-el-capitan.

Fully assembled and ready for operation or display, two Deluxe Edition 11-car combined consists, and an all-new three-car version of
the La Junta, Denver Connection, which served through 1971 will be offered. Production of these limited edition consists, sold only in sets, will be strictly limited to the number of preorders received by August 31, 2020. These unique replicas include factory-installed
LED interior lighting and Preiser passenger and crew figures throughout the train where appropriate, plus unique names and numbers in each set.

The announced set options are as follows:

920-825 Super Chief / El Capitan Deluxe Edition Set #1 $1460.00 each

• Baggage Car #3918*
• Baggage-Dorm Transition Car #3477
• 68-Seat Step-Down Coach (forward seats) #532
• 68-Seat Step-Down Coach (reverse seats) #528
• 10-6 Sleeper Pine Pass
• 36-Seat Diner #601
• Pleasure Dome Bar Lounge #500
• 4-4-2 Sleeper Regal Crown
• 11 Double-Bedroom Sleeper Indian Lake
• Hi-Level Diner #651
• Hi-Level Sky Lounge #577

980-826 Super Chief / El Capitan Deluxe Edition Set #2 $1460.00 each

• Baggage Car #3857*
• Baggage-Dorm Transition Car #3479
• 68-Seat Step-Down Coach (forward seats) #535
• 68-Seat Step-Down Coach (reverse seats) #530
• 10-6 Sleeper Pine Grove
• 36-Seat Diner #605
• Pleasure Dome Bar Lounge #502
• 4-4-2 Sleeper Regal River
• 11 Double-Bedroom Sleeper Indian Scout
• Hi-Level Diner #655
• Hi-Level Sky Lounge #580

920-827 The Denver Connection Set $305 each

Connecting train for combined Super Chief/El Capitan between La Junta, and Denver, Colorado, through 1971
• NEWLY TOOLED! Steam Generator Car #134*
• Baggage Car #3817 (gray, white)*
• 46-Seat Coach #2842

Reservations are due by August 31, 2020 to guarantee availability.  For more information visit www.walthers.com/super-chief-el-capitan

Southern California Minimeet Report

2017 Southern California Mini-Meet Report

Despite all the rain that has been falling in California this year, Saturday, February 4, was a dry and beautiful day, and a great day for the Mini-Meet. The event was attended by 110 enthusiastic individuals, most from throughout California. Five came from Arizona. One individual in Howland, Ohio, learned of the event and was fortunate to be in Los Angeles on business that week and was able to attend.

For the second consecutive year, the Mini Meet was held at the Christ Lutheran Church of West Covina. Attendees miss seeing the passing trains at the San Bernardino Depot where the Mini-Meet was previously held, but they strongly favor the comfort that the facilities at the West Covina location has to offer.

The day was filled with five clinics.

  • “The L.A. Terminal in the 1930’s & 40″s, by John Signor, Society editor and California rail historian;
  • “Modeling Southern California in the 1960s,” also by John Signor;
  • “Modeling the California Citrus Industry,” by Bob Chaparro, a local railfan/modeler and citrus industry expert;
  • “Railroading in the Steam Era” was a panel discussion moderated by Keith Jordan that included five former Santa Fe employees and Stan Kistler, the noted steam historian, in a roundtable discussion;
  • “Cajon, Tehachapi, Arizona & New Mexico in the 1970s & 80s,” by Charles Lang.

During the breaks between clinics, those attending spent time at the 14 vendor tables and the very large modular layout presented by the California Free-Mo layout group. Of special note is the fact that the modular layout was operating on Sunday for the church members and their families to view, and on Monday for the more than 230 elementary grade students who attend the Lutheran school adjacent to the church. The older children especially enjoyed seeing the model trains being operated. Hopefully some of them will someday be railfans and modelers.

In addition to the above, something else happened at the Mini Meet. Its something that happens at every other Mini Meet, convention and event associated with our Society. It’s the interaction among attendees: meeting new friends, renewing old friendships, exchanging information and learning about subjects relating to modeling and/or the Santa Fe Railway. It cannot be precisely described or measured, but it happened at this Mini Meet as it does at all such events.

Gene Rutledge and I thank all those who attended the meet as well as those who assisted in any way in presenting it. Planing for the 2018 Mini Meet is underway.

–Charlie Schultz

2016 Kansas City Minimeet Report

2016 Kansas City Mini-Meet Report

The 29th annual Kansas City Mini Meet was held on November 12 at Hope Lutheran Church in Shawnee, Kansas. Over eighty fans and vendors attended and enjoyed four presentations and a video on the 2017 national convention in Tulsa, followed by layout tours in the afternoon and evening.

The first presentation was by Eric Goodman on his Emporia-sub., model railroad. Eric was to give this clinic at the 2016 Wichita convention, but had to be canceled. He provided great insight into how to build a large layout the “right” way.

The next clinic was Illinois memories by the well know author and Santa Fe Modeler Roger Ziegenhorn. Roger shared many slides from his collection and did a great job of documenting scenes around Chillicothe, Illinois and the Pekin branch.

Bob Walz, a director for the society give an update on Society activities and emphasized the features of the new website. The new site was on display for all to see.

The first half of the meet ended with a stirring video by Marc Montray promoting the 2017 convention in Tulsa. Marc set the video to music and featured the country swing song “Take Me Back to Tulsa”. The video received a great reception and all in attendance were ready to get to Tulsa ASAP!

The afternoon clinic was by Jack White, retired ATSF conductor from Marceline, Missouri. Jack regaled the audience with numerous tales from forty years on the Santa Fe. His nicknames were fascinating and fun, but nothing could top his memories of working the Henrietta to Saint Joseph branch.

The final clinic was by James Brown of Chicago. James is the author of the new Illinois Division book and was able to sign a number of books for attendees. James presented a detailed clinic on operations at Dearborn Station in Chicago. His clinic featured the extensive passenger operations of the Santa Fe and provided many details that were new to most in attendance.

The entire event was video taped by Jeremy Janzen of the Saint Louis area and DVD’s may be ordered for $10.00 including shipping, by contacting Jeremy Janzen at:  cornervideo@att.net  314-503-0981

Final thanks go to Warren Scholl (alias Chico) who was our Master of Ceremonies, to Roger Ziegenhorn co-producer, and Karl Schoettlin who was our host a Hope Lutheran.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeff Needham


2019 Kansas City Minimeet Report

2019 Kansas city mini-meet short report

The 32nd Annual Kansas City Mini-Meet was held on November 23, 2019 at Hope Lutheran Church in Shawnee, Kansas.  Speakers included:

  • Mike Martin – Santa Fe Business Cars I’ve Known
  • Denny Krausman – Building ATSF Resin Kits
  • Keith Jordan – Warren Scholl Tribute
  • Chuck Hitchcock and Mark Davidson – The Ottawa Junction Railway
  • Dan Munson – BNSF – Yardmaster 101

2003 East Coast Santa Fe Modelers meet, Fort Washington, PA

by: Bill Van der Meer

On March 28th and 29th, 2003 an East Coast contingent of the SFRH&MS met in Fort Washington, PA. The meet was hosted by the GATSME Model RR Club, whose expansive and highly detailed model railroad has been featured in Model Railroader Magazine. About 30 enthusiasts enjoyed operating sessions, displays, seminars and not to mention, each other’s company. This core group of extremely motivated Santa Fe modelers has conducted meets for many years throughout the mid Atlantic region as well as in New England. This event has traditionally been open to members and non-members alike, having drawn the curious from as far west as Chicago.

Special thanks go out to clinicians Lou Nost, and Al Iezzi for their informative presentations and to George Weissgerber and Ed Wilson for their key roles in organizing the meet. Thanks also to GATSME members Bill Hubbard, Val Pistilli, Walt Kopf, Dave Deihl, and Bob and Darryl Rule for their assistance in helping us maintain our timetables and continually keeping our trains in the clear. Special recognition goes out to the vendors who donated door prizes. They include Kalmbach Publishing, Accurail, Lifelike, Carstens, Kadee, E-R Models and Tony’s Trains,

This is a very special group of extreme model railroaders who might never have come together under any other circumstances except for a common bond formed by a love for dreaming, and following the creative pursuit of modeling the Santa Fe Railway. Stay tuned for announcements for next year’s event. And think about sharing your knowledge by offering to do a clinic.