Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz      Soft Cover
Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz      Soft Cover
Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz      Soft Cover
Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz      Soft Cover
Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz      Soft Cover

Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz Soft Cover

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Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz Soft Cover
Santa Fe and Grain Story, The by Robert D Walz
Soft Cover
201 pages
Copyright 2016
Acknowledgements 6
Introduction 7
Chapter One How It All Started9
Chapter Two Building the Network21
Chapter Three Building the Infrastructure 43
Chapter Four The Boxcar Era109
Chapter Five The Covered Hopper Takes Over 151
Chapter Six Staggers and the Last Years of the Santa Fe175
Appendix 201
Bibliography 202
In the past coverage of Santa Fe served industries had been relatively scant. Thus, Eric Hiser, the publications chair of the Santa Fe Railway and Historical Society, conceived the "Santa Fe and Industry" series of books. The goal of the series is two fold. First is to provide prototype information for the modeler to accurately model a particular industry on his railroad. This is done primarily through photographs of the industry and operational data to allow the modeler to operate his or her railroad in a prototypical manner. The second is to provide a history of the Santa Fe's involvement in moving the products of the industry under consideration. This is done through a brief history of the industry as it pertains to the Santa Fe, a discussion of the railroad infrastructure built to serve the industry, and the subsequent history of the railroad and the industry.
This is the story of the Santa Fe and the role it played in the transportation of grain and grain products. Since wheat was the most important grain to the Santa Fe, much of the story will be about wheat and the Santa Fe. The three most important wheat-growing states served by the Santa Fe were Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, in that order. In fact, the story of Kansas and wheat are so intertwined that they will dominate much of the story. Eastern Kansas, Missouri and Illinois added corn-growing territory to the story, and eastern Texas featured rice. Other important grains were barley, oats and grain sorghums. All will be discussed to some extent.
Five trends set the stage for an understanding of the Santa Fe and its role in the transportation of grain and grain products.
The farm economy for the entire life of the Santa Fe followed a boom and bust cycle. There were prosperous years when the railroad carried large amounts of grain and there were lean years where grain traffic was light. This made it difficult for the Santa Fe to plan for efficient use of cars and to project revenues.
Grain farms gradually became more mechanized. (This led to a single farmer being able to farm more and more acres and thus feed more and more people.) For example, in 1866 a single Kansas farmer could produce enough for himself and five other people. By 1986, this had increased to himself and 76 others.'
The country elevator was a major feature of the grain industry. Over time, due to increasingly larger yields, elevators grew from small, wood-frame elevators to the concrete, prairie skyscrapers we associate with the plains states today. Toward the end of the Santa Fe, there was an increase in the centralization of even larger elevators, and the country elevator had started to be phased out.
At the beginning of the Santa Fe, flour and feed mills were small and served a relatively small local area with products for the home and farm. They too grew in size over time but started to decrease in number even earlier than the country elevator as they gradually produced products for bakeries and wholesalers.
I. George E. Ham and Robin Higham, eds. The Rise of the Wheat State, Lawrence: Sunflower University Press, 1987, p. x.
This was due mainly to the ability of the railroads to transport more grain longer distances than the farmer and his truck could.
The Santa Fe entered the trade by carrying grain in 25-ton capacity boxcars travelling relatively short distances. Over the next 125 years, grain cars increased in type and capacity - first to 50-ton boxcars, then to covered hopper cars (initially with 70-ton capacity), to today's cars with a capacity of over 140 tons. As the type and capacity of cars was changing, there were also more grain cars per train travelling longer average distances so that by the end of the period, grain was moving long distances in solid unit trains.
A note about the photographs used in this book is in order. Before the development of large covered hoppers in the 1960s, the Santa Fe carried grain in boxcars. Since it is impossible to tell from a photograph what is in a boxcar, for the photographs used in this book, I have selected examples of consists typical of the time and location but which may or may not be carrying grain. The writer's task became much easier once covered hoppers came into general use.

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