The name says it all, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society. Born from the merger of the Santa Fe Modelers Organization and the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society, the Society maintains a strong focus on modeling. Each Convention features a Santa Fe modeling contest with both a popular vote and a technical contest. The technical contest rates participants’ skills based on prototype accuracy, modeling skill and effort, and finish. Successful modelers can vie for the coveted Master Santa Fe Modeler recognition awarded by the Society.

new product announcements and reviews

This section will track new Santa Fe products released by various model manufacturers as well as existing model reviews.  After 1 year, we will move them to an archive page.

Archived product announcements are on the reviews and announcements page.

Rebuilding the santa fe

The Society is on a mission to “rebuild” the Santa Fe — in model form — so that everyone can experience this unique American Railroad!  The Rebuilding the Santa Fe project will, we hope over time, include models of every class of Santa Fe locomotive (steam and diesel), passenger car, freight car, company service vehicle (cabooses/way cars), and representative structures and scenes!  The following rotating galleries highlight recent additions.  Click REBUILDING THE SANTA FE to see the complete collection!


rolling stock


Modeler’s Resources

Modeler’s resources available from the Society include model and product reviews, modeling articles, a series of painting and lettering guides for modelers, and a wide range of reference series books (freight, passenger) and photographs from archival collections.

Santa Fe Product Reviews and Announcements

The Society maintains an extensive collection of reviews and announcements of Santa Fe models and products of interest to Santa Fe modelers.  Selected book and media reviews are also available.

Santa Fe and BNSF Diesel Roster Database

Society member Gene Crossett, Jr. has developed an excellent database of Santa Fe and BNSF diesel locomotives by class and number with detailed information, based on review of images, of when they were modified and repainted.  Working with Society members, he has expanded the lists with additional resources.  You can access this database below:

Please note that you may need to use your browser forward and back arrows in Chrome rather than in-site navigation tools.  Gene is always looking to improve his roster, so if you have a good, roster shot quality image that shows a modification or repaint that is not captured by Gene’s roster, please let him know.

Specialty Interest Areas

The Society has a number of pages devoted to particular modeling interests over time. Here is a current list  and you can click on any of interest:

  • Cajon Pass Group – A group of historians and modelers interested in Cajon Pass.  Led by John Thompson.
  • Santa Fe and the Citrus Industry – A group of historians and modelers interested in citrus industry and operations.  Led by Bob Chaparro

Modeler’s Painting and Lettering Guides

The Society has published three guidebooks just for modelers that provide quick, accurate information on the proper painting, lettering and in some cases, detailing of Santa Fe rolling stock and motive power.  The three guides are:

  • Painting and Lettering Guide. Written by Dr. Richard Hendrickson, perhaps the greatest freight car historian for the steam and early diesel eras, this guide comprehensively guides the modeler through the Santa Fe’s evolving painting and lettering practices to assist the modeler in putting their fleet in the proper paint and lettering. An invaluable reference, new members may purchase this guide at a discount. Click here to purchase.
  • Steam Locomotive Painting, Lettering and Detailing Guide. Written by Larry Brasher, an authority on Santa Fe locomotive development, and Stan Kistler, a noted Santa Fe locomotive photographer who avidly cataloged the evolving Santa Fe steam locomotive fleet, this guide provides a one stop shop for modelers interested in properly painting, lettering and detailing steam locomotives. The book discusses standard practice, significant regional differences, and provides numerous photos and guides to Santa Fe practice. An invaluable resource.  Click here to purchase.
  • Diesel Locomotive Painting and Lettering Guide. Written By Stephen Priest – a former Santa Fe employee, author and editor of a series of books on the Santa Fe, and former editor of the NMRA Magazine and Railroad Model Craftsman – the Diesel Locomotive Painting and Lettering Guide provides a series of templates on how to paint and letter Santa Fe diesels. Lavishly illustrated with photos and diagrams, this invaluable guide helps modelers create highly accurate and detailed models that look Santa Fe … all the way! Click here to purchase.

Prototype Information

A model is only as good as the prototype information behind it.  The Society is proud to publish detailed information on the Santa Fe for modelers and historians alike.  Check out the following sources of prototype information:

Model and Photo Contest

The Society sponsors an annual Model and Photo Contest at is Annual Conventions.

Model Contest

The model contest is divided into two groups: a popular vote contest and a technical contest. In the popular vote contest, all models participate and compete for first, second and third place ribbons and “Best of Show” based on the number of votes that they receive from attendees. Popular vote categories include steam locomotive; diesel locomotive; multiple unit diesel locomotive; freight car; passenger car; intermodal equipment (cars and support equipment); caboose/way car; maintenance of way; and structure/diorama.  In the technical contest, models are judged by interested members based on prototype fidelity (10 points), modeling effort and proficiency (10 points) and finish and weathering (5 points), with 22 points required for a Certificate of Technical Excellence, 18 points for a Certificate of Technical Merit, and the best overall model scoring 22 points or more receiving the President’s Award for Technical Excellence.  Technical contest categories include: motive power; rolling stock; and structures.

If you would like to learn more about the Model Contest, click on the following links:

Model Photo Contest

The Society also sponsors a “model photo” contest where participants recreate the Santa Fe in model form and then photograph it. You can see the ATSF entry form here and BNSF entry form here.

Master Santa Fe Modeler Recognition

In 2013, the Society created the “Master Santa Fe Modeler” to recognize modelers who excel in modeling the Santa Fe and preserving its legacy through models for future generations. The Master Santa Fe Modeler recognition is not an award; it is an earned recognition open to any member who completes the requirements.

The requirements for a Master Santa Fe Modeler are:

  • Requirement #1. Win a Best of Show, First or Second Place Ribbon or a President’s Award or Technical Certificate in each of the following categories: Motive Power; Rolling Stock; and Structures.
  • Requirement #2. Earn a President’s Award for Technical Excellence or a Certificate of Technical Excellence for a Santa Fe model in any of the three categories: Motive Power; Rolling Stock; or Structures.
  • Requirement #3. Publish a modeling article on a Santa Fe prototype in The Warbonnet, Running Extra or another major model railroading magazine to share your skills and ideas with others.

The Society is pleased to recognize the following individuals as Master Santa Fe Modelers.

Learn more about our Master Santa Fe Modelers by clicking here.

Interested in becoming a Master Santa Fe Modeler? Review the application and consider attending a future Convention. We would love to have more Master Santa Fe Modelers!

Santa fe layouts on the web

There are some great Santa Fe layouts that you can visit on the web.  Here are some of our favorites:

If you know of other great Santa Fe layouts that should be included, please let us know at webmaster.

Modeling Committee

Any organization is only as good as its volunteers. Interested in helping bring useful reviews, articles, or products to your fellow members? If so, join the Modeling Committee, which is responsible for developing contest on both this website and in the Society’s media productions!  The Modeling Committee also promotes Santa Fe prototypes with manufacturers and assists manufacturers in making their models correct for the Santa Fe. The committee is made up into two general areas: the steam and transition era (up to 1955) and the diesel era (1955-1996). Examples of our work include:


  • Stock car
  • Caswell Gondola
  • Caboose

Broadway Limited:

    • 3800 2-10-2
    • Revision of 3751 4-8-4

Painting and lettering on other models.

Current leaders of the Modeling Committee include the following:

Please contact them if you would like to join!