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.

  • Vol. 9.  Santa Fe Hoppers & Gondolas: 1960-1995. By Charles Slater.  This volume on Santa Fe’s hoppers and gondolas will cover everything in the Ga class that Santa Fe owned from 1960 to the BNSF merger in 1995.  It picks up where Richard Hendrickson left off in his excellent book Santa Fe Open-Top Cars: Flat, Gondola and Hopper Cars 1902-1959, Rolling Stock Reverence Series volume seven.  Also included are two cars, one gondola, and one ore car, that were listed in that book but were not shown, the Ga-76 class 65-foot mill gondola and the Ga-107 class Hurley ore car. 107 classes featured, with roster and painting and lettering guide.  Soft cover 256 pages with a coil last-flat binding, color images throughout.   Available.
  • Live Stock Operations: History, Equipment, Facilities & Modeling by J. Stephen Sandifer.  Before The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe drove its first spike, it was understood that the shipping of live stock would be critical to its success. One of the first actions was to intercept the Chisholm Trail 65 miles south of Abilene near Newton where over 40,000 head were shipped in 1871. By the end of the 1872 the majority of the rail cars owned by Santa Fe were stock cars. As the Santa Fe continued to move west, it caught more cattle at Great Bend, Dodge City, and Granada, Colorado. In 1884, Santa Fe shipped 800,000 head of cattle from Dodge City alone. The railroad maintained a Live Stock Department catering to cattlemen, ranchers and packers. But live animals were trouble to ship. Damage claims were higher than any other commodity, and government regulation were stronger. The shipping of live stock peaked in the 1920s, but by 1930 things had begun to change. Trucks proved to be more convenient and often faster transportation for small shippers and short distances. In the end, Santa Fe loaded just 62 cars of stock in 1972, the last year of live stock operations. But for over a century, live stock, birds, fish, and a myriad of other animals went on Santa Fe all the way. Painstakingly researched and liberally illustrated, this is the story of Santa Fe’s live stock operations, from its history, to equipment, to infrastructure—such as stock yards and feeding stations required to maintain the business. Along the way this volume touches on the rules and regulations governing the traffic, rodeo and circus trains, Railway Express shipping, as well as modeling this fascinating part of Santa Fe’s legacy. This book combines features of both the rolling stock reference series and the commodity series.  256 pages 11×8½ soft cover, over 300 black & white photos and diagrams and over 140 color photos, appendix, roster, plus modelers notes. Available.  Supplemental information on Santa Fe live stock operations is available to individuals who purchase this book.  The password is the first word of the second paragraph of the second chapter.
  • Santa Fe’s New Mexico Division: Varnish, Coal, Copper and Cattle by Robert D. Walz. This volume continues the author’s divisional histories.  As is usual, the territory of the New Mexico Division changed over time. This volume covers the history of the territory of the New Mexico Division from 1877 to 1995 as it was constituted in 1942. At this time, the division had a main line with associated branches that ran from La Junta, Colorado, to El Paso, Texas. The Division was unique in that passenger traffic was five times greater than freight traffic through most of its history.  Almost all of the Santa Fe’s famous passenger trains traversed the division at one time or another.  Coal and copper, zinc, and iron ore constituted the bulk of online freight traffic throughout the history of the division.  The division was one of the more scenic stretches of railroad on the Santa Fe’s system and attracted photographers such as Otto Perry, Richard Kindig, Preston George, Stan Kistler, Steve Patterson and Joe McMillan, all of whom provided photographs for the book. 196 pages, 240 photos 70 in color, maps, charts, tables, appendices, and bibliography. Available.

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.