Here are some more resources I have….

Trains in Transition (Lucius Beebe, Appleton-Century, 1941) has a page (p.87 “THIS TRAIN SOLD THE BILL OF GOODS”) devoted to 103/103A.  There’s not a lot of info, just a paragraph below an R. H. Kindig photograph.  The significance of this locomotive is not lost on the author with respect to the number already ordered by the Santa Fe.  However, I do love how Mr Beebe opines “…steam has a sentimental appeal to all railroaders, and, in fact, to almost everyone…”.


I had obtained FT Demonstrator decals from Microscale (#87-613) when I first modeled the 2700 hp locomotive a few years back.  In the instructions there was reference to a Model Railroader “Paint Shop” article written by the late great Andy Sperandeo in November of 1989.  I do not have a copy of that issue and it is sold out at MR, but the Toronto Reference Library has it and other issues going back to the 1960’s.  I was able to photocopy that two-page article which gives historical, painting, and some detail information on EMC 103/103A.


Another source of info is Classic Trains Spring 2015 – F-unit 75-year tribute to the diesel that revolutionized railroading.  There are four articles that contain interesting info on Model F/FT’s.  This issue is still available from Kalmbach.


What a fine photo of a Santa Fe FT on the cover!  The most significant item in the magazine though, for me, is the only period color photograph (again by R. H. Kindig) I have yet to see.  The green on the locomotive is quite dark and looks more green than olive although the lighting conditions may have something to do with this as the day looks overcast.  This will influence my decision on the paint – my first model I felt was too “olive” (Polly Scale GN Empire Builder Green).  I am giving the model’s final colors much thought and experimentation.

The Santa Fe was on the cutting edge of early diesel-electrics for all services.  The Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society put out an issue of their Warbonnet in Q3 1997 that has an excellent history of the FT (and some on the 103/103A) written by the late great Wallace Abbey.  Back issues are available on their website (Warbonnet).


As I don’t “own” any EMC 103/103A photographs, I don’t feel I have a right to post any here, but anyone can do an internet search under something like “EMD FT Demonstrator” and get what I do too.

There is much I do not know about 103/103A’s appearance, but I’ll fill in the blanks with good guesses.  What else can we do???

FT Tidbit: Total FT’s produced was 1096 – the AT&SF had the most (320 units – 29.2%), followed by GN (96 units – 8.8%), CB&Q (64 units – 5.8%), CMStP&P (52 units – 4.7%)….and the Minneapolis & St. Louis had the least (6 units – .5%).