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Santa Fe´s Combined Super Chief - El Capitan (1960s)

Walthers Proto H0 – Limited Edition

Santa Fe Super Chief – El Capitan (late 1960s) – The legendary Combined Name Train of the pre-Amtrak Era

As the flagships of the Santa Fe’s legendary passenger service, the Super Chief and El Capitan offered riders the best of both worlds. Always the last word in luxury, the Super Chief was an oasis of quiet comfort where guests were treated like royalty. With its lower-priced coach seats and spectacular views from the signature Hi-Levels, El Capitan was a favorite with families and business travelers.

Operating as a first and second section on the same 39-plus hour schedule, by the late 1950s ridership for both would peak in summer and again at Christmas. At other times one train could easily do the job, and Santa Fe quietly combined them for the first time on January 12, 1958. This would be standard practice through 1970, when only the combined train operated.

With few changes, Amtrak took over in 1971, however Santa Fe retained all rights to the El Capitan and Super Chief names. Increasingly displeased with Amtrak’s ability to maintain high standards, Santa Fe withdrew naming rights in 1974, at which time the train was renamed the Southwest Limited. In 1984, Santa Fe allowed Amtrak to once again use its trademarks for the renamed Southwest Chief, which still serves Chicago-Los Angeles today.

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