ATSF 12 & 12A


The next-to-last locomotives for upgrading to Soundtraxx Tsunami 2 DCC/Sound, LEDs, and Sergent Couplers were ATSF 12 & 12A. The model is from Broadway Limited Imports, of about 2012.

Along with Union Pacific, Chicago Burlington & Quincy, and Baltimore and Ohio, Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe was a diesel pioneer.  Perhaps their greatest contribution to the application of the diesel-electric locomotive was in mainline freight operations just before and during the Second World War.  They were the largest operator, by a wide margin, of the EMC/EMD FT (320 units of 1096 produced). And they were nearly the first to operate EMC’s new sleekly designed passenger E-unit – their model was called the E1 (June, 1937). In August 1939, one EMC E3 A-B set was delivered (EMC s/n 954 [A-unit] & s/n 955 [B-unit]) numbered as ATSF 11 & 11A respectively.  This was the first member of a new class of locomotive on the ATSF, the 11-Class.  This was mainly due to the E3 having the new 567 prime mover; the E1 had the Winton 201A.  E6 locomotives were very similar to the E3 and came to belong to the same class.



ATSF 12 (EMC s/n 1059 – the first production E6; the Demonstrator being sold to Seaboard Air Line) and 12A (EMC s/n 1062, the first E6 B-unit) were delivered in April of 1940. Thereafter followed sisters 13 & 13A, 14 (a single A-unit), and 15 & 15A. Prior to and during the war, these engines were based out of Chicago in the Super Chief/El Captain pool. By pooling these engines, the Santa Fe was able to optimize their use.  For example, on layover days in Chicago they were used as power on trains #10 & #11 (Chicagoan – Kansas Cityan).

12 & 12A were already discussed in an earlier posting.  By studying photographs that hopefully had accurate dates in the commentaries, I believe that this model is representative of an 11-Class locomotive in 1943. Here is a portion of that posting:

I believe that this model is representative of an 11-Class (EMC E3/E6) some months after initial delivery.


In the book “Early Diesel Daze 1935-1953” (John McCall, The Chief Way Reference Series, Kachina Press, Page 125), there is a photo of A-Unit ATSF 14 “in early 1942” with a small number board centred high above the windshields – the locomotives were not as-delivered with these.  There is also a visor over the headlight (confirming the time to early in the war).  I believe that there would also be a bell on the roof.

In the Classic Trains magazine Special Issue No 6 “Railroads and World War II” (2007, page 88), there is a great color photo of ATSF 15 and a sister in 1944, without the visor.  The sister has the nose number boards painted out, a later modification.  So my model, below, is after the headlight visor was removed and before the number boards were blanked (it should have that roof-mounted bell, however).


In addition to the DCC work, I added that missing rooftop bell.  Cal Scale had one that looked correct.


When I received this detail part, I thought that the cast air line and fitting on top were oversize, so I removed the line and filed down the fitting.  I used Tichy .010″ wire for the line, which I CA’d to the side of the bracket.  The part was primed with Tamiya Fine Surface Primer (L) and then air-brushed Tamiya Aluminum (XF-16).  Then the tense moment – marking and drilling the hole.  Fortunately, my photo references were good for location.   I added a strip of 10mm Tamiya Tape on the roof and carefully marked the hole location, first by pencil, then with a pin in a pin vise.  As the casting had a very large locating peg (~.057″ dia.), I started with a .032″ drill, then a .046″ drill, and then a .055″ drill.  The fit was very snug, so I slightly opened the hole up with a No. 11 blade.  The bell assembly is held in place with CA from the inside of the shell.


One detail I missed on my original research was that the pilot is not correct for a Santa Fe 11-Class – they did not have the strap-type steps, but rather a step on each side that protrudes out.  I’m not going to change this as these will be very delicate and I’m not.  Between the plastic roof lift rings and side doorway steps, it’s a miracle that I haven’t damaged these models more (so far, I’ve been lucky and anything I have damaged I’ve been able to correct).


I think if I weren’t modeling the New York Central, I would model the Santa Fe in 1940-42.  Here are a couple more pictures of 12 & 12A: