ATSF is the AAR reporting mark for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. It was one of the main predecessors of BNSF Railway.

Today in history: November 8

Santa Fe and Southern Pacific trains meet at the Tehachapi Loop in the 1980sIn 1874, the Southern Pacific was building its line south from San Francisco through California's central valley.  Construction reached Bakersfield and work began on the line that would include the Tehachapi Loop on November 8, 1874.  The line is still one of the busiest mountain passes in California, and is now owned by Union Pacific Railroad.  In this view from the mid 1980s, we see part of a container car, and under it in the background, the head end of the train of which this container car is part and an opposing Southern Pacific freight at the Tehachapi Loop.

John Shedd Reed: 1917-2008

There are various stories around the news sites today that John Shedd Reed, president of the Santa Fe Railroad from 1967 to 1986, passed away over the weekend. The AP says it happened on Sunday, but the Chicago Tribune says Saturday. Whichever day it happened (and if you have more information please let me know), the railroad industry lost an influential executive. Reed was the grandson of John G. Shedd, the second president of Marshall Field and the founder of Shedd Aquarium (Reed himself was president of the aquarium from 1984 to 1994). As president of the Santa Fe, Reed took the railroad through the deregulation period of the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was also under his leadership that the Santa Fe told Amtrak it could no longer use the "Chief" or "Super Chief" names on its passenger trains in 1976 due to a significant decrease in the perceived quality of a ride aboard them.

More information:

EMD F-units; on Sierra Leone 1850 (Scott) sheetlet

DRGW 5771

If there is one locomotive series that paved the way for dieselization in North America more than any other, it would have to be the F-series locomotives of General Motors Electro-Motive Division. The first true F unit was the FT, first produced in 1939. F units were originally designed and sold as two-unit pairs of, usually, one cab-equipped A unit and cabless B unit drawbarred together like the Denver & Rio Grande set of F9s at the Colorado Railroad Museum (shown here). EMD built almost 1,000 FT units in the A and B configurations together, while later models were produced in even higher numbers. With their high production numbers and widespread use on both passenger and freight trains up through the 1970s in regular service, the EMD F series has appeared on numerous stamp issues. Let's take a closer look at one set from Sierra Leone...

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