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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Gone. But, Not Forgotten.

The photo on the front of this post card is a picture of one of the diesel locomotives that Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (Santa Fe) ordered
from General Electric's locomotive division. It is a U-28 CG model of locomotive; one of many U-series locomotives known as U-boats by train enthusiasts. Santa Fe was the only railroad company to order any of these - and they only ordered ten of them. They were numbered 350 through 359 when they were delivered for passenger service. The CG in the model nomenclature indicates that there was a steam generator on board the locomotive so that it could heat up the interiors of the passenger cars that it pulled. It was located between the cab and the engine compartment. The tanks under the locomotive were divided into two compartments with two different refilling openings so they could each hold both fuel and water. The ten locomotives were delivered in August and September of 1966 and put immediately to use to replace the aging F-units that Santa was using. You can see that the company painted these engines with the famous "Warbonnet" paint scheme. These locomotives stayed in passenger service until a serious accident on February 9, 1969 involving another engine from the U-series. Santa Fe re-geared these locomotives from 77:26 (for speedy passenger service) to 77:18 (for powerful freight service). When they were switched to freight service they were also renumbered into 7900 through 7909. These ten engines stayed in service until September of 1980, when the last one was scrapped.
These locomotives now only survive in pictures. The post card was published by Vanishing Vistas. It is a company that is still around today. It is owned by Richard Cox who started it in 1967 with the specific intention of helping locomotives survive, if only in pictures. The company is headquartered in Rocklin, California, a city very close to Sacramento. You may also notice that the picture was taken by Lyman E. Cox. I do not know, but I would be willing to guess that the two are related. The post card came from my "Large Cards" collection; it is approximately 14 by 22 centimeters (5 1/2 by 8 3/4 inches). It takes up one whole page of the album.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.