Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Complimentary Santa Fe RR Tickets

Today I thought I'd share a few complimentary tickets from the Santa Fe company - sponsors of the Disneyland Railroad! I wish I had info as to how anyone might have received one of these tickets; perhaps they were given out as an occasional promotion or bonus "goodie" to cross-country travelers headed to Los Angeles. Notice that these are all "child" tickets - maybe these were the train equivalent of the "junior pilot" pins that kids used to get on airplanes. This ticket would get you in the gate, but after that you were on your own. I recommend a "Big 15" book!

This first one is from 1959, in a dignified gray that would match my flannel suit. This was from the days when Disneyland was "Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom", and Walt Disney World was just a twinkle in Walt's eyes. Notice the very low serial number, which appeals to collectors for some reason.

Pffft, serial # 000030? How about #000014? I win! This ticket is a nice orange-sherbet color (and flavor!). Like the other tickets, this one is unused, but that ragged upper edge drives me koo-koo bananas. I do love the pen-and-ink renderings of the modern diesel locomotive contrasted with the steam loco (the E.P. Ripley?) beneath it.

This next one doesn't even have a serial number! It's a lovely orange juice and grenadine hue, and was good until the end of 1968 because in 1969 everyone magically turned into hippies!


Steve DeGaetano said...

Nice collection, Major! I believe you are correct that these were handed out aboard the Santa Fe's premier trains like the Chief and Super Chief.

The drawing of the steam locomotive is indeed the E.P. Ripley pulling the yellow Retlaw 1 passenger train. This image was used on early SF&D tickets, and was even used on the Engineer hat patches in the 1990s!

Chuck said...

I like the then-modern diesel rendering as well, all though I've gotta say that four locomotives to pull a baggage car and a third of a passenger car seems to me an excessive use of motive power. What're they hauling - uranium?

Impressive collection this morning, Major, especially those low-numbered tickets. You don't happen to have any with negative serial numbers, do you?

Alonzo P Hawk said...

These are great collectors items thanks for sharing. Back in the day it was probably no big deal to "spiff" a kids ticket to the park (plus one free train ride) with a total value of less than two bucks.

Wouldn't happen now. A cross country train fare (for anyone who still travels by rail) is probably only 2-3 times the price of a now "all inclusive" ticket to the Manic Kingdom (of Anaheim). Oh the times they are a changin'.

K. Martinez said...

Major, these are really awesome!! Love these tickets showing both diesel and steam. Even though I still travel by train once in a while, I wish I was born a little earlier so I could've experienced the golden age of train travel.

Chuck, About those four locos, maybe only the A unit was powered and it has to pull the dummy units along with the baggage car and 1/3 coach car. My Lionel ATSF F3 ABBA Super Chief has a hard time making it around the Christmas tree, pulling aluminum baggage, combo, diner, Vista Dome, observation and coach cars. And both A units are powered. Of course it might be due to my aging 1950's ZW transformer and 36" curves that the train struggles getting around the tree. It is a frustrating thing.

Steve DeGaetano said...

K Martinez, sounds like an amazing train set. I have two AA units, but was never able to afford the passenger cars. Lionel Santa Fe F3s are 1950s charm at its best!

Anonymous said...

I rode the Superchief once as a small boy, at least i think it was the superchief. The engine had the red and gold motif similar to the one on the ticket shown.

We rode from Hanford to Bakersfield and back, just for fun. Took two hours each way and we had lunch in the Dining car, with a white table cloth and silver flatware.

I have no idea how old I was, but probably pre-school.

Later, Santa Fe abandoned passenger service on that route and there was none for many years until Amtrak started up again.

I've ridden trains a good deal on trips abroad, can't figure out why they aren't more popular here.

Cool stuff, Major, thanks.


Steve DeGaetano said...

JG, it's not that trains are "unpopular," per se, it's just that passenger trains are money-losers for the railroads. Which is why most got out of the business in 1971, turning their routes over to Amtrak.

Patrick Devlin said...

Great stuff, Major. Do you suppose I can get wallpaper with the Globe watermark as its pattern?

And you have to love the durability of the F Unit's design: 70 years after being introduced its head-on silhouette is still used as the icon for train signage.

K. Martinez said...

@Steve DeGaetano, When I took an Amtrak train from Emeryville to New York City back in Summer 2001, one of the things that surprised me was the Amtrak train would sit for hours on end in the middle of nowhere waiting for a right-of-way freight train to pass through before continuing the journey. This happened several times throughout the trip. I was told it was because various tracks were owned by different companies and held priority over Amtrak. Amtrak would wait for clearance to proceed. At least that's what I was told by the porter. In the end, my arrival to Penn Central was 12 hours late. I didn't realize the rail system was that complex. Still it was one of the most wonderful trips I've taken in my life. It was definitely about the journey as much as the destination.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Yes, K. Martinez, in the vast majority of the country, Amtrak does not own its own track (I think they do own the North East Corridor). They ride on the tracks that belong to other railroads. And because it's the freight that makes the money on those railroads, the Amtrak passenger train has no priority. This is just the opposite to the way it was for much of railroading history--when passenger trains had priority rights.

I used to ride the train between LA Union Passenger Terminal and San Diego when I went to the University of SD in the mid-1980s. Those were some beautiful and memorable trips along the coast.

Major Pepperidge said...

Steve DeGaetano, if I was a kid who was suddenly in the possession of an admission ticket to Disneyland, I know that I would be pestering my parents to go to Anaheim! It was a great idea for both Santa Fe and Disney. I’m not surprised that the image of the E.P. Ripley was used again, since the company has a tendency to re-use old classic artwork.

Chuck, “four locomotives to pull a baggage car”… is that what the ticket image pictures? I can’t even tell! I had tickets with negative numbers, but they all vanished on “Back to the Future” day.

Alonzo, you are right, this was a cheap giveaway (though who knows how many were given out. Maybe many thousands). I can’t decide if I would like to travel cross-country by rail or not; my family once went from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin on the train, and it my main recollection was that it was uncomfortable.

K. Martinez, yes, if you look at old ads for Santa Fe, traveling by train looked elegant and fun. Sort of like old air travel, I suppose. I would imagine that you are dusting off your Christmas villages and train setup right around now!

Steve DeGaetano, I know so little about model railroading, except that I think I would be very picky about accuracy and DEFINITELY would want that vintage feel. Maybe I should try to replicate Ward Kimball’s collection. Shouldn’t be too difficult!

JG, I love the idea of riding the train just for fun, enjoying lunch in the dining car, and heading home! I have photos of my great aunt and her family arriving in Los Angeles (at Union Station) in the 1950’s, and everybody is dressed in their best clothes. It looks so amazing.

Steve DeGaetano, I admit that if I had to travel across the country, I’d rather get to my destination in hours rather than days. But that’s just me!

Patrick Devlin, maybe some desktop wallpaper, anyway! I should see if I can piece together something that looks halfway decent. I don’t even know what the F Unit is; is that the diesel train pictured on the ticket?

K. Martinez, oh boy, waiting 12 hours would have soured me on train travel forever. That sounds like some sort of torture. Were you at least able to leave the train? Or was a case of, “We don’t know when we will be allowed to proceed, so you’d better stay on board”? I’m glad you managed to have fun in spite of the delays!

Steve DeGaetano, I am imagining being in a train and moving along the California coastline.. that sounds amazing.

K. Martinez said...

@Major, No you could not leave the train. Several times it stopped in the middle of the wilderness or prairie. If you tried to get off you'd probably end up in a ravine or ditch. It was no problem though as I could go to the snack bar to dine or go up to the vista dome to lookout at the scenery or read one of my books. There was lots of room for your legs while sitting and the corridors were wide enough to move around easily throughout the length of the train. Certainly way more room than in a cramped plane.

I actually enjoyed the long train trip just relaxing and looking at the scenery roll by (Gorgeous views in the Sierras and Rockies not available to motorists). It was four days of just kicking back, going to the diner car for dinner, enjoying good conversation with other travelers and not worrying about anything except making the connection in Chicago. Now that's my kind of vacation.

Chuck said...

Ken, your Lionel set sounds awesome! (Give me a second to wipe the saliva from my keyboard...OK - I'm back.) My first trip to Disneyland included a stay with a relative who had a similar Santa Fe F3 consist. I remember looking into the styrofoam tunnel to see the headlight light up and being pulled back by my great-uncle just before the lead locomotive hit me in the face (wish he'd been there with the tent a couple of months ago). To this day, Lionel F3s only look "right" to me when painted in the Warbonnet scheme.

And a Type ZW transformer, to boot! With 275W of power, that's the most juice you'll ever get out of a Lionel controller. My dad has a Type Z (250W) that we hooked up to my son's modern (2007) Lionel set-up the Christmas my son got it. His 4-year-old little brother cranked the transformer up to the equivalent of "11" on Nigel Tufnel's amp, and that thing really whizzed around the track for about a lap and a half before there was a loud popping noise and it lurched to a stop. I'd never seen smoke coming from underneath a model locomotive before.

Steve and Ken, Amtrak owns most of the Northeast Corridor (363 miles of the 457 mile route), plus 260 or so additional miles of track in CT, MA, PA, MI, and IN. Beyond that, as you both have mentioned, Amtrak trains are at the mercy of the railroads over whose tracks they travel. And I don't really blame the home roads - they have a schedule to keep and a profit margin to maintain.

Our local paper regularly publishes letters from a gentleman who has a burr under his saddle about being made to wait for trains stopped across road crossings. He is under the mistaken impression that, now that commercial railroads no longer run their own passenger trains, railroads no longer run under timetables or have a need to adhere to schedules. His solution is to either make all trains stop short of crossings - which would force railroads to operate toy-train-length trains to avoid fouling a grade crossing - or to compel railroads to build over- or underpasses at every crossing point. I have gently attempted to point out his misunderstanding and the impracticality of his proposals in my own letters to the editor, but he just doesn't get it. At least he's not spiteful in his responses as so many other cranks who write to the paper.

I rode Amtrak once back in '73 from Sacramento to Lima, OH, mostly on what was then known as the "San Francisco Zephyr" that ran from Oakland to Chicago using original "California Zephyr" streamlined equipment (plus an old, yellow MoPac car thrown in for that "early Amtrak look"). My parents were wondering what to do with a 4-year-old and an 18-month old toddler during our scheduled 8- or 10-hour layover and had plans to take us to the Museum of Science & Industry. Due to delays for both home-road traffic as well as a broken-down locomotive Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere, WY, we ended up sprinting for our connecting train (I think it was the "Broadway Limited"), barely making it before it pulled out of the station.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Major, the diesel engine pictured is called an "F" unit, made by the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors (F originally stood for "Freight"). These were further classified as "F3" or "F7" or "F9" as options and horsepower increased over the years.

The Santa Fe version was particularly famous among the younger male set because Lionel produced its O gauge version by the hundreds of thousands in the late 1940s through today. It's just such a classic that even when non-train people think of "Diesel Locomotive," the bulldog face of the F unit usually comes into their head--and more often than not, it's painted in the red and silver of the Santa Fe.

The front unit with the engineer cab is further categorized as the A unit, while the three trailing boosters without engineer cabs are "B" units.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck and Steve, thanks for the extra info and confirmation on the railroad rights.

Chuck, I do agree the Warbonnet paint scheme is awesome! I'm also a big fan of the PRR GG1 locomotives with their paint schemes in Tuscany red 5 stripe and Brunswick green 5 stripe. Did you ever get to see any of the Pennsylvania GG1s in operation while you were in the Midwest in those earlier days?

Chuck said...

Major, an "F" unit is any one of a series of similar-looking, "bulldog-nosed" diesel locomotives built by GM's Electro-Motive Division (EMD) between 1939 and 1960. Each model in the series began with the letter "F," hence the name "F unit." The model name followed by the letter "A" indicated that the locomotive had a cab, while the letter "B" denoted a cabless booster. "B's" were intended to be coupled with "A's" to provide additional horsepower without having to maintain an additional cab and control stand.

The locomotive front that used to grace the south entrance of Engine Ears Toys at DCA came from an F unit.

The diesel locomotives on the ticket appear to be an EMD F3A or F7A followed by three F3Bs or F7Bs. Externally, the F3 and F7 were extremely similar (internally, they were nearly identical), and at the level of detail in the ticket graphic would be impossible to tell apart. But there's no mistaking that Santa Fe Warbonnet scheme.

Chuck said...

I see that if I'd only waited two minutes for Steve's response, I could have saved myself a bit of typing. :-)

Ken, I never had a chance to see a GG1 in operation - we lived in Illinois & Ohio, and by the time I got to the NE Corridor they had all been retired. We do have a badly-weathered example at the St Louis Transportation Museum that's awaiting restoration that I've seen up close and personal, though.

I did have a pretty poorly-executed Tyco HO scale GG1 as a kid. The wheel arrangement was all wrong, and I referred to it as a "GG0." I recently pulled it out of storage and accidentally broke a stuck gear trying to get it back in operation. A friend just gave me some old, mostly-broken Tyco stuff and I think I now have the right parts to get it working again. It's not anything that will make a fine-scale modeler sit up and take notice, but it's a part of my personal past that I'd like to see run again.

Chuck said...

Oh, and the Pennsy 5-stripe GG1s are my favorites, too, although I have a fondness for the red, white & blue Amtrak units as well (I think there were a total of three). The black Penn Central, Conrail & Amtrak "dip job" schemes leave me cold.

Patrick Devlin said...

Thank you Steve and Chuck for so nicely filling in what I left out. What I need is a preview capability that allows me to see my post as it really is and not as I think it is.