Expanded from work by Frank M. Ellington and Joe W. Shine
For over a century Santa Fe Railway’s management and executives had at their disposal a fleet of railroad cars designed for business. Completely self-contained, a Business car served as a mobile office and allowed an official to visit his territory first hand, and stop and talk with employees on the way. Often these cars were also used for entertaining VIPs. The first cars built expressly for this purpose were delivered in 1893. While designed with a certain amount of comfort in mind, they were not opulent or extravagant. (There were exceptions, such as Car 17 built for Santa Fe President E. P. Ripley in 1907). Santa Fe was unique in also having a fleet of “junior edition” Business cars for the more prosaic service of a Division Superintendent, a tradition that was carried into the heavyweight era. Reflecting the move to lightweight, streamlined equipment for revenue service, Santa Fe began purchasing similar equipment for its business fleet in 1949. Rostered alongside the Business car fleet was a wide variety of interesting special purpose cars. For a railway system as large and as old as the Santa Fe, it found itself in need of educating and training its employees as technology advanced. More over, it needed ways to monitor motive power, track infrastructure and other systems in order to make sound business decisions. This training and analysis needed to be mobile in order to bring it to the far reaches of the system. This volume covers in detail these cars, from wooden “Official” cars of the 1890s through the sophisticated stainless steel cars of the 1950s and more recent Director’s cars, to such esoteric equipment as Dynamometer cars, Locomotive Simulators and “theater” cars. Its all here, including the memories of those who served aboard them, illustrated with rosters, diagrams and hundreds of photos. 248 pages, 11×8 coil bound, 347 black & white and 120 color photos, 78 diagrams.