Santa Fe Railway Hot 27
(High Priority Freight Trains)

by John M Carr

Copyright (C) 2000

Eastern Region

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On the morning of Dec. 13, 1990 (Thursday), the Santa Fe operated 80 of these hot intermodal and manifest trains. This was two weeks before Christmas and intermodal trains were running heavy with UPS and US Mail. Locations of trains on the road are an approximation for 800AM CST. Section numbers are only used when multiple sections of a train were operated. Although this report does not include all trains, it should give you a good idea of what was gong on with the high priority trains.

We will cover the Santa Fe entire system in stages:
Chicago, IL to Houston, TX - Eastern Region
Augusta, KS to Texico, TX
Temple, TX to Los Angeles
Barstow, CA to Richmond

In 1990, the Santa Fe was just beginning to use some alpha symbols. The majority of the hot intermodal trains used the number system that was established in 1971. Under that symbol system the railroad was divided into nine sections.
1 Chicago
2 Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri
3 Kansas City
4 Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado
5 Texas
6 west Texas
7 New Mexico and Arizona
8 Southern California
9 Northern California

Numbered train symbols had three basic parts: origin, priority, and destination. A section number would appear before the basic symbol if there were multiple sections of the same train. The last element was the date of origin. Thus Santa Fe train symbol 2-199-11, was a second section of the 199 schedule. It originated in Chicago, was high priority, and went to Richmond, CA. This particular train left Chicago on the 11th day of the month.

Chicago to Kansas City

Four hot intermodal trains tied up in Chicago that morning. Train 581-10 arrived at 520AM, one hour 10 minutes ahead of schedule, with 49 cars 2,901 tons. Train symbol 581 started in 1986 as train 561 and became the 581 in late 1988. 581 operated Monday through Saturday with 2 hpt (horsepower per ton) from Dallas and 2.5 hpt from Kansas City. It handled TOFC and UPS for Oklahoma City, Big Lift (set out at Emporia for train 344), Kansas City, and Chicago.

1-891-11 arrived at 620AM with 52 cars 3,008 tons, 40 minutes ahead of schedule. Train symbol 891 began as the 881 in 1975 and became 891 in 1985. It operates daily with 4 hpt. It handled TOFC, mail, and UPS for Chicago. It would pick up TOFC from Phoenix on the Arizona Div. from train 771. From March 9, 1990 to Feb. 11, 1991, train 891 operated in two sections from Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday.

2-891-11 arrived at 715AM, one hour 15 minutes ahead of schedule, with 50 cars 2,593 tons.

3-891-11 arrived with 34 cars 2,170 tons at 730AM, 30 minutes late.

188-13 left Chillicothe at 726AM, with 47 cars 2,873 tons. It was near Williamsfield running 50 minutes ahead of schedule. Train symbol 188 handled TOFC only (no COFC) for Los Angeles with 4 hpt. It operated Tuesday through Sunday until Jan. 11, 1991, when it was cut back to operate as needed.

195-13 left Chillicothe 41 minutes ahead of schedule at 719AM. It was near Galesburg with 37 cars 2,264 tons. Train symbol 195 traces its history to trains 193 and 335, which were combined in 1985 to form the 195. It handled TOFC and auto parts for Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Alliance, Fort Worth, and Houston. It became train 194 on Sept. 23, 1991 terminating in Oklahoma City.

1-991-11 left Fort Madison at 728AM running one hour 57 minutes ahead of schedule. It was near Lomax with 51 cars 3,270 tons. Train symbol 199 operated daily with 4 hpt and handled premium TOFC, COFC and UPS from Richmond, North Bay, and Stockton.

2-991-11 left Marceline at 656AM with 24 cars 1,233 tons. It was near Fort Madison running a half hour ahead of schedule.

SCHLA-13 left Chillicothe at 350AM, right on time, with 51 cars 4,388 tons. It was approaching Baring, MO. Train symbol SCHLA began in 1977 as train 178 and operated via Raton Pass during the early 1980's. It became the 158 Dec. 4, 1989 and became the SCHLA on April 2, 1990. It originated at Croxton, NJ as Conrail train TV201 or TV203 and operated from Chicago Tuesday through Sunday with 2.7 hpt. It handled double stack equipment and would fill with TOFC traffic for San Bernardino, and Los Angeles when train 168 was not operated. It would pick up at Kansas City when train 368 was not operated.

SLACH-10 left Marceline at 740AM running 50 minutes ahead of schedule. It had 63 cars 4,405 tons and was on the north main, rolling slowly by a M/W gang near Ethel. Train 2-941-04 had derailed three cars here on the 7th, taking both main lines out of service. The north track was handling traffic in both directions and the south main wouldn't be back in service until the following week. Train symbol SLACH started as the 851 and became the SLACH on April 2, 1990. It operated from Los Angeles Monday through Saturday with 2.7 hpt and handles double stack traffic for El Paso, TP&W, Kansas City, East St. Louis, IHB (OOCL via NS), and Chicago. It would fill with TOFC traffic and could operate on Sunday if needed.

Santa Fe train symbol 891 near WB Junction
Santa Fe train symbol 891 near WB Junction

Click on any small picture in this report to see a larger picture and get more information about the train and the location.

2-QLANY-11 left Kansas City at 725AM, three hours 35 minutes ahead of schedule, with 70 cars 4,581 tons. It was near Congo. Train symbol QLANY was established in Aug. 1987. It operated daily with 4 hpt. It handled TOFC for Chicago and connectd with Conrail train TV-10 for Kearney, Springfield, and Worcester. On Sunday, it could fill with TOFC for Kansas City.

One priority train tied up at Kansas City that morning. 893-11 arrived at 150AM, two hours 10 minutes ahead of schedule, with 32 cars 1,866 tons. Train symbol 893 traces its history to the old LKC symbol. It began in 1969, became the 803 in 1971 and later became the 883 operating via Raton Pass. The route was changed to Amarillo in 1981 and it became train 893 in 1985. It operated from Los Angeles Tuesday through Saturday with 4 hpt to Belen and 3.5 hpt to Kansas City. It handled autos, TOFC, mail, and UPS for Phoenix, Albuquerque, Big Lift, Belen, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, and Kansas City.

Santa Fe train symbol 189 at Norborne
Santa Fe train symbol 189 at Norborne, MO

189-12 had just arrived in Kansas City 55 minutes ahead of schedule, with 58 cars 3,584 tons. Train symbol 189 began in 1975 operating from Corwith Friday through Tuesday and began operating daily in 1979. It operated with 4 hpt and handled TOFC for Albuquerque, (El Paso when 197 not operated), Phoenix, Fresno, Stockton, North Bay, and Richmond.

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