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 Eastern Division: Where It All Began by Robert D. Walz.  This volume continues the author’s divisional histories published by the Santa Fe Railway Historical and modeling Society.  As is usual the territory of the Eastern Division changed over time.  This volume covers the history of the division as well as the Kansas City Terminal Division and the Southern Kansas Division, from 1869 to 1995.  In 1948 the Southern Kansas Division was split between the Eastern and Oklahoma Divisions and then in 1965 when the Oklahoma Division was terminated The Eastern Division got the parts of the old Southern Kansas Division which had belonged to the Oklahoma Division.  The book discusses the main lines from Kansas City to Emporia through Ottawa and Topeka as well as the main from Ottawa to Tulsa, the Kansas City Terminal Division and all associated branches.  Heavy passenger and freight traffic characterized the division.  It was also a division with significant industry, especially in the Kansas City area.  The division, because of its heavy traffic, attracted many well-known photographers such as Otto Perry, Preston George, Bill Gibson, Bill’s son Art, Ray Hilner, Wes Kranbeck, Lee Berglund, Imre Quastler Lynn Aldrich, and Lance Garrels all of whom provided photographs for the book.  256 pages, tables, appendices, 238 photographs. Available.
  • Vol. 10.  Santa Fe Painting and Lettering Guide. By John R. Signor.  This guide builds on the work of the late Richard Hendrickson and others as to the painting and lettering of Santa Fe freight, passenger and maintenance of way equipment. The original work, first published in 1990, and reprinted with additions and clarifications in 1991, and again in 1998, has been reorganized in a somewhat chronological format beginning in approximately 1910, and includes new information to bring it up to the date of the BNSF merger in December 1996. With modern printing methods color—where available—is used throughout. Also new to this volume, original Santa Fe painting and lettering drawings—redrawn for clarity—have been included. Primarily designed to aide Santa Fe modelers, this volume will also appeal to the Santa Fe historian as it covers Santa Fe promotional campaigns in detail from the stand point of its rolling stock for a period of over 90 years. 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.