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El Capitan at Sullivan's Curve (SA-13)

El Capitan at Sullivan's Curve

One of the most famous train watching spots in California is Cajon Pass. And if there is a signature location on the pass, that would probably be Sullivan's Curve on the eastbound main just east of Cajon proper. He spent many hours at the curve capturing some very famous views familiar to many of us. Herb Sullivan died in 1945, and in the 1960's, the U.S. Forest Service gave the curve's name official status with a sign.

This painting is based on one of Sullivan's famous photographs. It depicts the eastbound Santa Fe El Capitan at Sullivan's Curve. The train is led by classy Pacific 1226. The trials and career of this steam helper were photographed numerous times as she was always a very available helper on Cajon. The road power for the El Capitan is an E1A number 6 and an E6B. And yes, that's Herb photographing the train on the right. This painting is a tribute to a man who saw and photographed scenes on Cajon Pass that we only wish we could see today!

18x24 El Capitan at Sullivan's Curve (unsigned) $40.00

18x24 El Capitan at Sullivan's Curve (signed) $55.00

Santa Fe Chief (SA-7)

Santa Fe Chief

The Santa Fe's westbound Chief roars through the curves at Chalender, Arizona on a crisp winter afternoon. It is the early 1950's and ALCo PA 58L and sisters are all still shiny and new. Fresh snow has fallen on Chalender, which is 7 miles east of Williams Junction on the Arizona Divide. Semaphore signals still guard the right-of-way. The sunny climes of Southern California are not far off for one of Santa Fe's classiest trains and it's passengers.

12x16 Santa Fe Chief (signed) $30.00

Santa Fe El Capitan (SA-6)

Santa Fe El Capitan

In the mid 1960's The Santa Fe Railway, facing the aging of it's "F7" units for passenger service, found it necessary to replace them for their crack transcontinental Super Chief and El Capitan. Electro-Motive Corp. of La Grange, in 1967, developed the 3600 horsepower FP45 locomotive. In order to make this locomotive more aesthetically appealing and easier to run through the automatic wash racks, an SD45 locomotive with its narrow hood design and walkways on both sides, was redesigned with a full width cowl carbody. The width of these FP45's matched the width of their passenger cars to make the train more uniform and appealing. The FP45's were equipped with steam generators to heat the standard low-level cars of the Super Chief.

The Budd built Hi-Level cars of the El Capitan, however, sported their own climate controlled equipment in the lower level of each car with two 10-ton A/C condensers. The upper level of the 72 seat coaches had full reclining seats that were a far cry from the pint-sized cramped coach seats in jet airliners of that era.

Each El Capitan train set included two conventional baggage cars, one conventional baggage/dormitory car with a step-up roof, one 68 seat Hi-Level transition coach with a step-down door at the head end, two 72 seat Hi-Level coaches, and one 88 seat Hi-Level dining car with a full electric kitchen on the lower level. The dining car was the only car that rode on six-wheel trucks and weighed in at 97 tons. The next special car was an 88 seat Hi-Level bar/lounge car with a bar on both levels. Remaining were at least four 72 seat Hi-Level coaches and the rear end car was always a 68 seat Hi-Level transition coach with the step-down rear-facing door. Every Hi-Level car was built of stainless steel.

The Santa Fe developed the Hi-Level concept and was the only American railroad to operate such trains. With the coming of Amtrak, later generations of Hi-Level cars, called Superliners, would be developed but this is where it all started....

The Artist depicts this El Capitan with two FP45 locomotives, 7200 HP, climbing the high desert of Arizona during a crowded 1968 holiday season when the El Capitan ran as the second section of the Super Chief and was a pure Hi-Level, all coach, passenger train.

12x16 Santa Fe El Capitan (signed) $30.00

Leland's Warbonnet (SA-1)

Leland's Warbonnet

An artist named Leland A. Knickerbocker leaned over his drawing board in 1937. In front of him lay drawings of Electro-Motive Corporation's new streamlined E1A locomotive being built for the Santa Fe to power the road's premier passenger train, the Super Chief. He had to come up with a design to complement the Southwest motif of the train and the graceful flowing lines of this new diesel from La Grange.

This must have been different for him. For most of railroading's history, design took a back seat to function. Now design was finally stepping to the forefront. Much of this emphasis on streamlining can be traced to the automotive industry. It wasn't even until 1927 that General Motors in Detroit formed an Art and Colour Section for automobile styling. By the mid-1930's, stylists began to streamline the automobile to suggest speed and power. Also, GM purchased Winton and EMC in 1930, getting itself into the locomotive business. The stage was set, and the streamlining of passenger locomotives was inevitable.

Travelers of the late 1930's must have been startled by the incredibly colorful new diesel locomotives on the head end of many passenger trains. Almost overnight these sleek locomotives began to bump steam from its traditional position on premier passenger trains. The halls of La Grange echoed with the sound of new sculpted forms being pounded out on the erecting floor.

Santa Fe also believed that the future of the passenger train depended on streamlining and diesel power. The November 1935 introduction of a pair of EMC diesel boxcabs for the Super Chief was only the beginning, and the world was about to take notice. Combining his creativity with ink and paper, Knickerbocker devised a memorable image: a Santa Fe logo in yellow, stretched across the locomotive's nose seemingly by speed. A brilliant red Indian headdress flowed back over the front of the locomotive, accented by yellow and black. It became known as the "Warbonnet," and it helped make Santa Fe famous.

Santa Fe's E1A No. 2A (renumbered to 2 in 1940) and sisters went on to dazzle the public and usher in a generation of streamlined locomotives, and the Warbonnet would grace every passenger locomotive on the Santa Fe. Millions of miles later, in 1952, the 2 was sent back to EMD for rebuilding into an E8Am, forever losing the exact lines that graced Leland's drawings.

The Warbonnet image has stood the test of time and the modern Super Fleet diesels of today's Santa Fe prove it. But the design never looked so good as it did on E1A No. 2. Thanks, Leland. This painting's for you.

12x16 Leland's Warbonnet (signed) $30.00

18x24 Leland's Warbonnet (unsigned) $45.00

18x24 Leland's Warbonnet (signed) $75.00

The Super Chief (SL-6)

The Super Chief

The Super Chief was Santa Fe's answer to luxury and speed on the rails. It was the first extra-fare, all-Pullman streamlined train, rolling off the 2223 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles in less than 40 hours. The Super Chief was diesel-powered from the beginning, and featured beautifully appointed sleeping accommodations. Everything from the Indian motif to the famous Fred Harvey diner was first class. In 1958, the Super Chief was consolidated with the all-coach El Capitan. Service was still luxurious, with such delights as a pleasure dome with the Turquoisee Room, a full diner, and new Pullman sleepers. From the first run on May 18, 1937 to the beginning of Amtrak on May 1, 1971; the Super Chief was a legend racing into history.

The scene above depicts the first class section of Train 17, the Super Chief, swinging through the curves between Glorieta and Raton, New Mexico. Let by two F7A's and two F7B's, there is ample power for today's train. Clad in the world famous red warbonnet paint scheme, the Super Chief will forever be remembered as one of the classics in railroading.

12x16 Santa Fe Super Chief (limited quantity left, unsigned) $50.00