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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Clashing red & green

Date: 11/03/18 06:29
Clashing red & green
Author: santafe199

One of the heartbreaking trade-offs in escaping the reaganomics recession was having to leave my beloved Santa Fe and the Kansas Flint Hills behind. After a 6 year slide toward inevitable bankruptcy I found steady RR employment in the big skies of Montana, after a brief stop-over in South Dakota. But as a railfan photographer with a heavy Santa Fe bias my timing couldn’t have been worse. When I left Kansas in May of 1987 I couldn’t have known that within 2 years Mike Haverty was going to revive Santa Fe’s legendary Red & Silver passenger paint scheme for something called “Super Fleet” service. I was thrilled & financially relieved to be working full time again. But starting in 1989 I was crying deep down inside because I knew that solid Warbonnet consists and Red & Silver power of all kinds would be running all throughout my old photographic stomping grounds back home.

While working the Montana stage of my RR career I had to settle for whatever mental images I could conjure up about Red & Silver rolling gracefully through the beautiful Flint Hills. On the artists’ “color wheel” there are 3 pairs of primary/secondary colors that just plain clash when mixed together. These would be yellow/purple, blue/orange & red/green. To my eye the red & green combo is probably the worst offender of the 3 pairs. Which probably explains why I really don’t care for the current FXE scheme. No offense meant to the Mexican national colors, I just don’t care for them artistically.

But here’s where I have to be a full-blown hypocrite! I would have been proudly excited to work Red & Silver graced trains in my original Santa Fe seniority district. And I would have loved the idea of chasing Red & Silver all over Kansas from Argentine down to my Green Flint Hills. I would have put all of my artistic color clash nonsense on hold and chased this color combo with my cameras and all the railfan gusto I could muster.

Later on in the 1990s, as an MRL employee I would eventually get to see a few, and even run a couple of Santa Fe Red & Silver specimens. But it would only be because of the post merger dispersion of the combined rosters of AT&SF ~ BN power. And in an ironic way, as beautiful & majestic as the Rocky Mountains of Montana were they just weren’t an acceptable substitute for my beloved Chase County Kansas Flint Hills garnished with Santa Fe Red & Silver..

1. AT&SF 217, with engr Willis Olsen at the throttle rolls down through the Kansas Flint Hills out of Cassoday, KS. This intermodal train is just south of the iconic KS hwy 177 underpass. I have to give hearty thanks to my fellow Santa Fe employee, fellow railfan photographer and now fellow TO member John LaGesse (atsfer) for taking extra slides while out shooting. He managed to hold onto a big bunch of extra trader slides -lots of Red & Silver- for many years until we could re-connect and negotiate a transfer of ownership. The slide this great image came from, as well as a few dozen other of his slides are now happily in my own collection… :^)
Photo date: July 5, 1995.

Thanks for shooting what I missed!
Lance Garrels (santafe199)
John LaGesse (atsfer)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/18 06:32 by santafe199.

Date: 11/03/18 07:18
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: CCMF

Very nice.  Wish the Santa Fe was still the Santa Fe today.

Bill Miller
Galt, ON

Date: 11/03/18 08:11
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: monaddave

Nice, LFG and thanks to John for getting that photo angle!

Date: 11/04/18 01:08
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: Evan_Werkema

I've always thought Superfleet looked great with a green backdrop.  I made it back west in time to catch solid red and silver consists running through the wintertime green hills of Franklin Canyon in California and fell even more madly in love with the scheme as a result.  I'd much rather have a color contrast that highlights the train than a chameleon that blends in with its backdrop as BN green/black in the Pacific Northwest tended to do.

Date: 11/04/18 06:25
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: santafe199

Evan_Werkema Wrote: > ...  as BN green/black in the Pacific Northwest tended to do ...

Funny you should mention... As I look back, in my 23 years railroading up in the Big Sky I would have thought BN green in the Rocky Mountains would have been an enticement that would keep me wanting to get out to shoot up the entire countryside. But it was strangely unappealing, and was no help at all in preventing the infamous railfan hibernation I fell into during the bulk of my time in Montana. What I found more appealing was the occasional, post-merger mix of BN Green & Santa Fe Red/Silver I had or saw a few times in working consists...


Date: 11/07/18 19:57
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: OliveHeights

You don’t happen to have a train symbol do you?  I was working at Willow Springs in July 1995, I don’t think we would have sent out a train with that many empties on it.

Date: 11/08/18 04:11
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: atsfer

No I did not get a symbol for this shot, just another bare table going east in this case.   A rolling storage track?

Date: 11/08/18 14:31
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: LocoPilot750

OliveHeights Wrote:
> You don’t happen to have a train symbol do you?
>  I was working at Willow Springs in July 1995, I
> don’t think we would have sent out a train with
> that many empties on it.
And if you put Willis on something like that, he'd have been on the phone, and you would remember that for sure. He was more at home on something good for 70.

Date: 11/08/18 17:35
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: santafe199

OliveHeights Wrote: > ...  working at Willow Springs ... don’t think we would have sent out a train with that many empties ...

Either way that would have been a neat trick: This train is eastbound... ;^)

Date: 11/11/18 20:08
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: the_expediter

That lone Roadway box must have been New-Clee-Ear Die-No-Mite !!!....Nyuck...

Date: 11/13/18 20:52
Re: Clashing red & green
Author: OliveHeights

That’s good to hear it was an eastbound. Cheers.

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