• ATSF F7s

  • For discussion about the historical operations and preservation of the ATSF, more commonly known as the "Sante Fe", before its merger with Burlington Northern in 1996.
For discussion about the historical operations and preservation of the ATSF, more commonly known as the "Sante Fe", before its merger with Burlington Northern in 1996.
  by atsf sp
Does anyone know when Santa Fe stopped using F7s for passenger trains and when they stopped using them for freight even if it was just branch lines. When were they rebuilt into CF7s?
  by westr
I think the F7s were used in passenger service up until Amtrak, and Amtrak leased some of them in its early days. The F-units were rebuilt to CF7s from 1970 to 1978. I think the end of the rebuild program was about the end of the unrebuilt Fs in freight service as well.

For more info, here's a website with a detailed ATSF roster, and here's a good page about CF7s.
  by atsf sp
Well I was just wondering if it was possible to see a SD45 built in the late 60s and F7s running. Thanks
  by Tadman
I know the FP45's and F7's were assigned to passenger trains from 1968 to 1971 (A-day). I don't think I've seen mixed sets. Both were in warbonnet, though. It seems ATSF was pretty strict about matching power - PA, F7, U28C, U30CG, and FP45 in solid sets. Amtrak bought/borrowed F7's but not FP54. MILW used their FP45's in mixed sets with F's and E's on passenger trains. The only roads to use the SD45 in passenger service was GN and SP, with SDP45's. EL had them too, but only for extra fuel capacity on freights. GN kept fairly solid sets, while SP would run whatever wherever.
  by westr
They were certainly in service at the same time, so if you just want to have them on your layout at the same time that's no problem. As for having them running together, its possible but probably wasn't common. Santa Fe tended to keep the Fs in sets until near the end, but you could get away with it. Both warbonnet passenger Fs and blue & yellow freight Fs were used in freight service toward the end. The freight Fs would be more likely to run with SD45s but either could've possibly happened. The SD45 would be best in the early blue/yellow scheme as the blue/yellow warbonnet didn't appear until '73 and they probably weren't repainted quickly. It would've been theoretically possible for an F7 to run with a freight warbonnet SD45, but not as likely.

A picture at http://atsf.railfan.net/cowls/f45.html shows a warbonnet F7b trailing 2 blue & yellow F45s, providing steam for heat on an Amtrak train, though the F45s had steam lines & high speed gearing to run with the FP45s on passenger trains if necessary; SD45s didn't. Also, on the Santa Fe, only F7Bs has steam generators, so Fs on passenger trains had to be in at least A-B sets.

GN's SDP45s (and SDP40s) were used with other power. See http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... ?id=818239
  by Allen Hazen
I remember a photo in "Trains" (most likely in the 1970s) of a Souther Pacific SD45 and F7 in m.u.: it happened at least once. (Don't know abut Santa Fe). More recently (1990s? 2000s?) "Railfan and Railroad" had a three-part (I think) article on the SD45: some railroads (I think Erie-Lackawanna was called out) did operate SD45 in mixed consists with F7 or GP7: the author of the article (an ex-EMD employee, I think) thought this was thoroughly irrational policy: I don't remember the explanation in detail, but I think the issue was that including the first generation unit in the consist triggered the power-match (power reduction at lower speeds so as not to burn out traction motors) on the SD45, so that an SD45+F7 combo was actually less effective at climbing hills than an SD45 alone would be.
  by John_Perkowski
The last stand of the F unit fleet was working grain from Superior, Nebraska to Strong City, Kansas. There was an interim locomotive base at Abilene, KS, where ATSF put in a turntable for a few years, to have vans facing forward as needed.

I saw at Abilene Warbonnets, Blue Bonnets, and freight units. I do not remember any yellow bonnets.
  by lvrr325
I can think of examples of F's running mixed with second gen power but not on the Santa Fe.