The central purpose of a historical society is to make resources available to the public. The Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society brings resources to the public in a wide variety of ways, including through its publications, book reviews, its Temple, Texas and San Bernardino, California archives, its online resources, the Kistler-Middlebrook-Kogan Photo Archival Collection, and its Facebook group. Members also have access to additional materials and forums in the Member Area. This page highlights some of what is available.
Information for genealogists appears at the bottom of this page.
One of the most useful records that the Santa Fe kept was its building records. Each division engineer was required to keep a record of all structures on a division. While the forms differed somewhat among the Grand Divisions (or “Lines”), all records included location, type of structure, size, material used in construction, number of stories, number of rooms, when erected, and miscellaneous remarks. Above is an example of the Bluewater record on the Albuquerque Division of the Coast Lines. Click on the thumbnail to view a larger version. More building records are available in the on-line resources below.
The Society is pleased to make a small part of its collection available online to assist Santa Fe fans and modelers. The offerings are subject to periodic change, so feel free to check back to see if new information is available!
Santa Fe company documents. New documents added January 28, 2019. This page includes company building records, joint facilities records (tabular data), industry track records (tabular data), bridge records, water service records, rules, forms, timetables, (both public and employee), schedules, and promotional materials. It should be noted that similar records differ from grand division to grand division. For example it appears that the Western Lines kept both the joint facilities records and the industry track records in tables as well as line maps while the Eastern Lines only kept the data on line maps. Both the Coast Lines and the Gulf Lines added sketches to the building records, while the Eastern and Western Lines usually did not.
Drawings from the Society’s archives and publications. New drawings added January 29, 2019. Drawings will include motive power, rolling stock, bridges, and structures.
Maps and Charts. New maps and charts added January 31, 2019. This section will include junction records, track charts, joint facilities records (line maps), industry track records (line maps), and station plats.
Photos from the Society’s archives. New photos added February 1, 2019. Photos from both the Temple and Western Archives include motive power (steam, diesel, and motor cars), rolling stock (passenger, freight, and maintenance of way), structures, and trains. There is a separate page for each category. Click on the category you wish to visit.
Additional materials for Santa Fe modelers are located on the Modeling page.
These materials are rotated periodically to bring more of the collection to the public, so plan to check back at least quarterly to see what new information has been added! Better yet, join the Society and have access to an extensive collection of materials always available in the Members Area, including more photos, drawings, timetables, track charts, company documents, company forms (both prototype and model), promotional materials, and curated material produced by Society members.
The Society reviews new books and materials from time to time in both The Warbonnet and on the Book Reviews webpage. Our most current reviews are found at the top. Older reviews may be found alphabetically by book title.
Santa Fe and the Citrus Industry
Society member Bob Chaparro hosts an on-line group devoted to citrus industry history and modeling. Selected information from this group is collected on the citrus industry page.
Temple, Texas Archives
The Society’s central archives are housed at the Fred M. and Dale M. Springer Archives in Temple, Texas. At Temple, extensive collections are maintained by a dedicated, full-time archivist supported by volunteers. The Temple Archives are home to several important collections, both of the Society and other donors. Major collections include:
- The collection of Robert Pounds
- The massive (23 ton) collection of Richard Scholz
- The John McCall collection
The Temple Archives are open by appointment with Craig Ordner, the Archivist. Information about accessing information at the Temple Archives can be obtained by contacting Craig Ordner, Temple Archivist (a Fred M. and Dale M. Springer Archives employee), (254) 298-5190, or Bill Childers, Central Archives Oversight Officer (Society coordinator).
The Temple Archives also maintains a store with a number of resources readily available for Santa Fe fans and modelers.
San Bernardino, California Archives
The Society’s western archives are housed at the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum in San Bernardino, California, which is located in the former Santa Fe depot. At San Bernardino, an extensive collection of Coast Lines and other materials are maintained, including artifacts, photographs, slides, and an extensive set of train sheets, which list all trains over the line in several California locations. The San Bernardino archives maintains a store with a number of resources readily available to Santa Fe fans and modelers.
The San Bernardino Archives are open by appointment with the Oversight Officer. Information about the San Bernardino Archives can be obtained by contacting Dave Snell, San Bernardino Archives Oversight Officer (Society coordinator), (909) 529-0081.
We hope to open new pages for the San Bernardino Archives in the near future!
Kistler-Middlebrook-Kogan Photo Archival collection
Stan Kistler has made a number of photos from this collection available. Click for catalog. Note: NO ORDERS CURRENTLY ACCEPTED. Stan Kistler has passed away and the Society is making alternative arrangements to make his collection available. Stay posted.
Santa Fe 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:
- ATSF and BNSF Diesel Rosters Home Page
- ATSF Model Rosters and Catalogs (engine rosters, image reference catalogs, and HO detail parts catalogs, by model)
- ATSF All-Time Roster – ordered numerically by road number
- ATSF Roster Summary – quick links to engine models and their road numbers
- BNSF All-Time Roster – ordered numerically by road number
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.
HARRY BRISCOE COLLECTION.
Digital image collection of the Harry Briscoe Santa Fe Calendar collection wall and pocket, history, Santa Fe travel posters, collection of Santa Fe rail passes and business car story. Access site.
sANTA FE VIDEO LINKS
Here are some links to Santa Fe videos on the web that may be of interest to historians, railfans and modelers.
- Santa Fe Railway – Loaded for War. This is a railroad promotional video about its support of the war effort.
- Santa Fe Railway – At your service. This is a railroad promotional video from 1947 about shipping merchandise over the railroad.
- Santa Fe Railway – All the way. This is a railroad promotional video from the 1950s about freight service on the Santa Fe.
- Santa Fe Railway – The freight train. This is a railroad promotional video explaining how freight trains are assembled.
- Santa Fe Railway – Fresh for Health. This is a railroad promotional video explaining how the Santa Fe moved fruit and vegetables.
- Santa Fe Railway – Workin’ on the Santa Fe. This is a railroad safety video showing scenes of working on the Santa Fe from the 1960s.
- Santa Fe Railway – How to Operate a Steam Locomotive. This is a railroad film on proper operation of a steam locomotive.
Other Links of Interest
The Society maintains links of interest to other sites with good information for Santa Fe historians, fans and modelers.
- Historical Society Sites
- Prototype Sites
- Index of Model Railroading magazines
- Operation Lifesaver
The Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society has an extensive collection of materials related to the history of the Santa Fe Railroad and it’s predecessors. These pertain to management, construction, structures and operations but do not include any personnel records.
To the best of our knowledge, the majority of Santa Fe Railroad and Railway personnel records prior to the 1930’s no longer exist. During mergers and reorganizations such material was seen as of no further corporate use and was destroyed. In this era of litigation, the Santa Fe like most railroads, do not allow access to what personnel records that may have survived. Our historical society in consequence has none of this type of material.
After 1936 the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board has kept records of railroad employees and for a fee will research their records for dead employees. See http://www.rrb.gov/geneal.html
From Ed Dabbler October 1999:
I have offered these additional reference sources in my response to questions. These include Miss Ellen Halteman, Librarian, California State Railroad Museum, 111 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916.445.6645, and email “” and an article entitled “Railroad Records for Genealogical Research” by Wendy L. Elliott, published in Vol. 75, No. 4 (December 1987, pp. 271-277 of the Genealogical Society Quarterly. The address for the Genealogical Society is 4527 Seventeenth Street North, Arlington, VA 22207-2363