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Nostalgia & History > The Chief still looked good in 71


Date: 12/07/18 04:13
The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: Roadjob

I happened to be in Illinos on assignment while in the Air Force in 1971. I really didn't have time to railfan, but I was only 10 miles from Joliet, and remembered just how great a spot it was when I had been there the year before. I had a couple of hours to take in the action, and Santa Fe and Rock Island provided plenty. Amtrack had just been born, so the railroads that signed on were still pretty much operating as before until the new corporation could get things sorted out. The highlight of the side trip was this shot of what I assume was the "new" Super Chief or Texas Chief heading east into Chicago. Still a beautiful train at that time! 

Bill Rettberg
Bel Air, MD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/18 04:18 by Roadjob.




Date: 12/07/18 05:02
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: refarkas

Definite "keeper". Having been to Joliet several times around then, this brought back wonderful memories.
Thank you for posting this.
Bob



Date: 12/07/18 05:03
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: valmont

Now that's how a passenger train should look!



Date: 12/07/18 06:16
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: dan

would guess the Tex Chief



Date: 12/07/18 07:36
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: andersonb109

Not sure what Amtrak "sorted out" is an improvement over what is seen in the photograph. At least there was enough power provided in case one crapped out as was the case with very late No. 4 yesterday. 



Date: 12/07/18 07:58
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: Hou74-76

Yes, I second the Texas Chief ID.  This must have been very early into the operating life of Amtrak, May 1971.  Notice it has a dormitory car and Big Dome lounge in the consist. Three sleepers and a diner was the norm. If memory serves me correctly, the decision to NOT purchase the big domes came as a surprise to many and was not solidified until a week or so after the grand opening day of Amtrak.  AutoTrain probably out bid Amtrak.  



Date: 12/07/18 08:34
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: BuddPullman

In the mid-seventies, I visited the Santa Fe Topeka Shops with a friend from the Kansas City Railroad Museum (the museum no longer exists). The Topeka Shops Superintendent gave us a great tour of the work being performed in the shop buildings.  We appreciated his time and his discussions.

I asked him why Amtrak did not purchase the Santa Fe Big Domes from Santa Fe? He responded that Santa Fe offered them to Amtrak for next to nothing, while receiving an offer from Auto Train.  Amtrak management at that time dragged their feet with no response, so Santa Fe went ahead and gave the sale to Auto Train.

There was no auction at that time for the Santa Fe Big Dome cars. That's too bad as they are great cars and would have been excellent assests to the Amtrak fleet at that time. 

7Hou74-76 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, I second the Texas Chief ID.  This must have
> been very early into the operating life of Amtrak,
> May 1971.  Notice it has a dormitory car and Big
> Dome lounge in the consist. Three sleepers and a
> diner was the norm. If memory serves me
> correctly, the decision to NOT purchase the big
> domes came as a surprise to many and was not
> solidified until a week or so after the grand
> opening day of Amtrak.  AutoTrain probably out
> bid Amtrak.  



Date: 12/07/18 08:45
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: PHall

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Not sure what Amtrak "sorted out" is an
> improvement over what is seen in the photograph.
> At least there was enough power provided in case
> one crapped out as was the case with very late No.
> 4 yesterday. 

Actually, no. There is no "excess" power in that consist. If one of those units crapped out they would either need assistance or run at a speed much lower then what is scheduled.



Date: 12/07/18 09:06
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: Hou74-76

Oh to have been a fly on the wall at Amtrak HQ during those times of transition in 71.  I suspect that Amtrak managers were more concerned with the eastern lines and the northeast corridor than what transpired on the western lines.  We know from Fred Frailey and ARONCO that Santa Fe helped ease and baby Amtrak to make sure the transition was as smooth as possible.  From a business sense, Santa Fe probably wanted to get out of passenger service cleanly, without complication or delay.  As we can see on the nose of the Santa Fe F7, spit and polish is still there but the attention to detail like the precision paint jobs we took for granted five years earlier have fallen to the wayside.

But, I am thankful for this photo and the history around it.  I just wish that the train and the consist could have lasted a lot longer than it did.



Date: 12/07/18 09:26
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: dan

was really intriging is the story that santa fe approached amtk to run the chief in 72, and it happened!
 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/18 11:36 by dan.



Date: 12/07/18 10:40
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: PHall

Hou74-76 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh to have been a fly on the wall at Amtrak HQ
> during those times of transition in 71.  I
> suspect that Amtrak managers were more concerned
> with the eastern lines and the northeast corridor
> than what transpired on the western lines.  We
> know from Fred Frailey and ARONCO that Santa Fe
> helped ease and baby Amtrak to make sure the
> transition was as smooth as possible.  From a
> business sense, Santa Fe probably wanted to get
> out of passenger service cleanly, without
> complication or delay.  As we can see on the nose
> of the Santa Fe F7, spit and polish is still there
> but the attention to detail like the precision
> paint jobs we took for granted five years earlier
> have fallen to the wayside.
>
> But, I am thankful for this photo and the history
> around it.  I just wish that the train and the
> consist could have lasted a lot longer than it
> did.

The silver overspray above the pilot had been happening  since the early to mid sixties. It was applied before every trip.



Date: 12/07/18 11:15
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: Englewood

From a source that heard the story from the Santa Fe man involved.

Since the ATSF no longer had any use for them, Amtrak was offered all the technical drawings for
the ATSF hi-level cars, along with the drawings of all the modifications made by ATSF.  The offer was
made so Amtrak could benefit from the Santa Fe's experience when Amtrak needed to order new cars.

Of course Amtrak wanted nothing to do with the plans.  In search of the perfectly squared wheel!
Amtrak was probably interested in a high level metroshell.



Date: 12/07/18 14:05
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: UP951West

A classic image . Thanks for the memories as I rode the Texas Chief in December , 1969. --Kelly



Date: 12/07/18 19:51
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: RuleG

Hou74-76 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh to have been a fly on the wall at Amtrak HQ
> during those times of transition in 71.  I
> suspect that Amtrak managers were more concerned
> with the eastern lines and the northeast corridor
> than what transpired on the western lines. 

Yes, because nothing exemplifies Amtrak managers' greater "concern" for the eastern lines and the northeast corridor than the general decrepitude of Penn Central locomotives, passenger cars, stations and track which characterized much of Amtrak's eastern/northeastern passenger network during Amtrak's early years.



Date: 12/08/18 07:32
Re: The Chief still looked good in 71
Author: BuddPullman

I when I worked for Amtrak in Washington, I became casual friends with one of the gentlemen who was there as part of Amtrak's initial adminstration team settting up the new company.  He had come from Pan Am as did many of the other people in the small group. He confided years later "We (the ex airline execs) didn't know what we were doing in those early days of Amtrak."  

Amtrak has evolved and grown since then and besides many blunders along the way, it is good we have a national rail system to this day. 


-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh to have been a fly on the wall at Amtrak HQ
> during those times of transition in 71.  I
> suspect that Amtrak managers were more concerned
> with the eastern lines and the northeast corridor
> than what transpired on the western lines.  We
> know from Fred Frailey and ARONCO that Santa Fe
> helped ease and baby Amtrak to make sure the
> transition was as smooth as possible.  From a
> business sense, Santa Fe probably wanted to get
> out of passenger service cleanly, without
> complication or delay.  As we can see on the nose
> of the Santa Fe F7, spit and polish is still there
> but the attention to detail like the precision
> paint jobs we took for granted five years earlier
> have fallen to the wayside.
>
> But, I am thankful for this photo and the history
> around it.  I just wish that the train and the
> consist could have lasted a lot longer than it
> did.



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