The Society and its predecessors have been publishing information about the Santa Fe since 1969. The Society offers exceptional publications on the history and modeling of the Santa Fe. From its flagship quarterly magazine, The Warbonnet, to its comprehensive books on history, motive power, rolling stock and modeling, the Society is the definitive and authoritative source on all things Santa Fe.

New Publications

Check here for news on the newest books and materials released by the Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society!  We are the definitive source for complete, accurate information on the Santa Fe Railway.

  • Santa Fe’s Missouri Division by James A. Brown.  This installment of a series of regional histories published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society examines the Missouri Division of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. The Missouri Division extended westward from Fort Madison, Iowa, to Sheffield, Missouri, on the east side of Kansas City. The St. Joseph District, a branch line that extended northwest from the mainline at Henrietta, Missouri, to St. Joseph, Missouri, is also examined. Historical coverage begins with the planning and building of the line across Missouri and Iowa that occurred from 1883-1888, and extends beyond the consolidation of the Missouri Division with the Illinois Division in 1956, to the merger of the ATSF with the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1995. Included in this volume are over 270 images, tables of data and appendices.  Available Summer 2024.
  • The Santa Fe in Transition:  A PIctorial HIstory by  Ira Silverman. In many ways the Santa Fe’s fame was rooted in a diverse mosaic. Iconic passenger trains, unique advertising and public relations, and even the paint scheme on its diesels made famous by model trains were all part of this tapestry. But by the end of the 1960s all railroads were struggling. The image of the Santa Fe was untouched, but management faced many challenges with the completion of the interstate highway system and the introduction of jet airplanes.  The Santa Fe looked to meet this challenge with intermodal service, the fastest freight train in the world, more powerful locomotives and new signal and telecommunication systems.  Eventually the passenger trains were given to the government, but up to the very end Santa Fe bought new passenger equipment and marketed its services creatively.  This book documents the changes from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s. The pictures were all taken by a career railroader who is proud of restoring the “Chief” name to the public eye. Available.
  • Santa Fe Passenger Train Compendium compiled by Michael W. Flick and John R. Signor. The Santa Fe Railway is well remembered for its passenger trains. Indeed, articles on these trains and their operations, written by many different authors with contributions by even more individuals, have appeared many times over for nearly a half century in the publications of the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society and its predecessors under the names of the High Iron, Santa Fe Modeler, The Santa Fe Route, and the Warbonnet.    Compilers  Michael W. Flick, an acknowledged expert on Santa Fe passenger trains, and John R. Signor, long time editor of the Warbonnet, have brought to this compendium not only articles of their own, but have  also gathered together dozens published as far back as the early 1970s. Many required updating, and corrections and additions were made if necessary. Color images were added if available, as some original articles were produced when only black and white was suitable for publishing, though some of the source images had actually been in color. For some articles, additional material was added, and some original material was created to fill some gaps for specific trains and operations for which nothing had been written prior to this compendium.  While this compendium is by no means a complete or comprehensive review of all Santa Fe passenger trains, it does place within one cover the broad scope of Santa Fe passenger train articles published by the SFRH&MS and predecessors in a convenient and accessible single volume.  576 pages, hard cover with dust jacket, 543 black and white photos and 283 color images, 16 maps. Available.
  • The History of Santa Fe Rail Testing and Rail Test Cars by W. Brock Lowman.At its peak, the Santa Fe system was comprised of about 11,000 miles of rail stretching from Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west, serving 11 states in-between. At the insistence of the U.S. Bureau of Safety following increasing numbers of sudden, sometimes catastrophic, rail failures, America’s railroads, including the Santa Fe, endeavored to develop effective and efficient methods of detecting defects in rail before they caused further problems.  In this volume, Santa Fe rail test car veteran W. Brock Lowman chronicles the company’s efforts to develop rail detection equipment, from the early American Railway Association magnetic test cars of the 1920s to Santa Fe’s custom Chevrolet C-20 Suburban Hi-rail vehicles with ultrasonic testing equipment used into the early 1990s. The author also takes the reader through a typical work-day testing rail. Included is an overview of typical rail faults and a primer on ultrasonic testing. Over 130 photos, plus roster of Santa Fe’s rail testing vehicles.  Available.

  • [Upcoming] The Atlantic & Pacific (Western Division), Santa Fe Pacific, Albuquerque Division and Their Branches by Garland Lamar Moore.  This is a comprehensive history of the Atlantic & Pacific, its successor the Santa Fe Pacific, and the later Albuquerque Division of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe.  It is a collaborative project of the Society and the Arizona Railroad Museum Foundation & Center for Education (ASRMF&CE).  We are looking for help finding original photos originally included in the manuscript.  If you think you can help, please click here to see the missing images.

The Warbonnet

The Society’s flagship quarterly magazine, The Warbonnet, offers lavishly illustrated articles on the history and modeling of the Santa Fe and its affiliated companies. Each issue is at least 40 pages, often more, typically includes articles by noted authors, often accompanied by full color photos, maps and drawings; modeling articles with useful “how to” tips; letters from Society members contributing additional information on past articles, and product reviews. Issued in March, June, September and December of each year. Under its current editor, John R. Signor, The Warbonnet has never missed an issue or a publication window! Members receive The Warbonnet at a discounted rate.

  • To purchase past copies of The Warbonnet, click here
  • To see individual issue indices for The Warbonnet for each year from 1996 to present, click here
  • To see a partial index of all publications of the Society from 1969 to 2001, click here
  • To learn about the evolution of The Warbonnet, click here
  • To learn how to submit an article to The Warbonnet, click here
  • To review Supplemental Material supporting articles in The Warbonnetclick here

Running Extra

The Society’s quarterly newsletter, Running Extra, features Society news to keep members up-to-date on new books, products, minimeets and other aspects of Society operation. It also features the Santa Fe Challenge – an opportunity to test your knowledge of Santa Fe history against other members, Questions and Answers collected from the Society’s forums but judged of general interest, and an ever changing mix of short articles on research, history and employee anecdotes of their lives on the Santa Fe. The Running Extra is typically 8 pages issued quarterly in conjunction with The Warbonnet. Members receive the Running Extra as part of their membership.

The Society Book Project

Each year, the Society strives to bring out one to three books about the history or modeling of the Santa Fe or reprints of significant company documents. The Society has published these books in several series of interest to both railfans and modelers alike. Members receive these books at a discount, typically 20 percent. The major series are:

  • Rolling Stock Reference Series.  This series of eight books provides an overview of Santa Fe work equipment, refrigerator cars, boxcars, tank cars and open top (hopper, flat and gondola) cars.  A supplemental book is the invaluable Listing of Freight Cars by Class and Number 1906-1991.  Future books in this series will cover covered hoppers and gondolas (1959 to present), flats, stacks and autoracks and the Santa Fe’s intermodal equipment.
  • Passenger Car Reference Series.  This series of five books covers the Santa Fe’s head end cars, coaches, chair cars, dining, parlor and beverage cars, business and special purpose cars, and sleepers.  Supplemental materials provide lists of passenger consists.
  • Painting and Lettering Guide Series.  This series of three books aimed at the modeler provides a comprehensive overview of the Santa Fe’s painting and lettering practices over the years.  Volumes are available on freight cars, steam locomotives and diesel locomotives.
  • Regional History Series.  This series of books provides an in-depth look at different sections of the Santa Fe, with a focus on divisional histories and highlights on lines and areas of particular interest.
  • Commodity Series.  This series of books examines the different lines of business that the Santa Fe pursued, with a focus on the interaction of business needs with rolling stock and operational requirements.  Perfect for the general historian or operations oriented modeler.
  • General History Series.  This series of books provides a general overview of Santa Fe operations and history, including personal stories.
  • Reprint Series.  The reprint series reproduces critical documents that help tell the story of the Santa Fe in its own words.  It includes time tables and other materials.

Click here to learn more about the Society’s Book Project and the individual books that comprise each series.
Click here to browse and purchase Society books, and much more!

Supporting the Society’s Publication Efforts

The Society depends upon members, scholars, modelers and interested members of the public to support its publications by sharing manuscripts, photographs and historic documents that bring to light the history and legacy of the Santa Fe and its modeling.  If you can support these efforts please contact:

  • Jonathan Signor, Editor of The Warbonnet
  • Eric Hiser, Editor of Running Extra
  • Robert Walz, Publications Coordinator

Requests for permission to reprint Society materials should be directed to Eric Hiser.