Structures Snippets

Items added: December 12, 2002


Santa Fe is erecting a primitive American adobe building, Harvey eating house at Lamy, N.M., to cost $30,000. On January 1, 1910, a new Harvey eating house will be opened there for the patrons of the Santa Fe; the building is 116' square. There will be 16 sleeping rooms therein, and also a dining room and lunch counter. The front of the building will be plastered with cement and all the back will be the typical adobe type mud. The interior will be painted, probably, in the old mission style and the windows will be the same, stained as the old Jesuit monasteries which the Spaniards instituted in this part of the world four centuries ago. The construction of such a building is unique in the extreme. The adobe house has been avoided rather than featured. In the first place, the adobe was nothing more than a temporary institution. The Indians, of course, lived in adobes, but when the white man came, the Indian dwelling house was adopted through force of circumstances as a temporary make-shift. Now the white man in the settled parts of the great southwest has his own frame, or stone dwelling, while in remote areas, sheepherders and Indian residences have long clinged (sic) to the adobes. The adobe is passing and in another generation they will only be a memory.


An Eating House For Emporia

Plans and specifications for a Harvey hotel and eating house for the Santa Fe were received in Emporia today by contractors S N Parker and D L Thomas. The plans call for a first-class 3-story building, 56' x 130', finished with gray pressed brick and limestone.


"New Locomotive Coaling Plant"

The Ohio Gas Engine Works of Chicago, has recently installed a locomotive coaling plant for the Santa Fe R.R. at Lorenzo, near Joliet, Ill., which is quite similar to a number which they have furnished different roads under recent orders. --- The propelling power is a 30 A. h.p. gasoline engine located in the lower building. By means of a link belt it operates a Lidgerwood hoisting machine in the upper building. A steel cable 650 ft. long is used, which is protected by idler pulleys on the incline.This not only prevents unnecessary wear, but makes it possible for one man to handle it easily. The engine has capacity for pulling a 140,000 gross weight loaded car up a 20 per cent grade at a speed of 20 feet per minute. The entire apparatus is handled by one man, thus dispensing with the usual switching engine and crew for taking cars up and down the incline. The resulting economy is obvious.


The Santa Fe recently completed a reservoir at Chanute, Kansas, which is the largest of its kind in the State. The figures of the engineers show that the reservoir, when water is spilling over the spillway, will hold 160,000,000 gallons and the area covered by the water is 180 acres. The reservoir was erected at a cost total of $70,000, including the price of the land and construction work.


The Santa Fe will expend about $46,000 in the improvement of its repair facilities at Richmond, California, and will also expend about $1,000,000 in improvements at Port Bolivar, Texas.


The two story depot hotel at Rincon, New Mexico on the Santa Fe was burned to the ground last week.

RAILWAY REVIEW 1/26/1884 p. 47(?):

The Grand Montezuma Hotel at Las Vegas, New Mexico, the property of the Santa Fe, was burned on the 17th. The fire originated in the basement, and in 30 minutes was in ruins. The hotel was one of the finest structures in the West. The loss is $300,000, and the insurance was less than $100,000, distributed among a large number of companies.


Dodge City, Kansas (1st? Ellington note) Depot is 20' x 112' x 14' high.

RAILROAD GAZETTE 7/23/1897 p. 527:

The Santa Fe is building a new station at Dodge City, Kansas. It will be built of brick with red and white stone trimming. The foundation is now being finished."


Dodge City depot about completed. The new depot and eating house for the Santa Fe Railway at this place is very nearly under roof; in six weeks more, the building will be completed. The building is to be heated by steam and will be lighted by electricity furnished by the Dodge City light plant. Electric wires have been put in and the boiler for the steam plant has been put in place.The brick of the building has been trimmed with magnificent stone quarried at Colorado City, and the foundation stone is from Castle Rock, Colorado. Pressed brick is used, and already 500,000 have been used. The roof is covered with terra cotta, or French tile, and there are copper gullies and valleys, the total cost of the copper being about $2,000. Below the tile on the roof there are two courses of Imperial Felt waterproof paper. The building is 256' long, and at its widest point measures 526' . There are one, two and three stories. The west room is for the depot, adjoined on the east by the express and baggage rooms, ladies and gents waiting rooms, lunch counter, dining room, hotel office, kitchen, storeroom, etc., (all) on the first floor. In the basement is the boiler room, root cellar and coal house, storeroom and laundry. The bakery and refrigerator rooms are on the first floor as well as room for milk, and butter etc., in a pantry. A large sample room for commercial travelers is on the first floor. In the second story there are 28 sleeping rooms, besides ladies parlor, and five sleeping rooms in the third story. The balconies at the north and south side of the third story are made of pressed copper 20' long and 4' wide. The kitchen, bakery, laundry, or wherever fire is kept, are made fireproof of corrugated iron, concrete, and steel "I" beams. No wood is used in the building except in doors and frames, with floors in hotel office and dining room being of hard maple. All floors are laid double, with asbestos paper in between. A brick platform will be laid with vitrified brick on edge, side platforms the same, but only 12' wide. Total cost of the structure is at least $35,000."

Topeka STATE JOURNAL 1/20/1900:

(Arkansas City dateline) "Improvements": New water tank to be 43' high, 24' in diameter.

Topeka STATE JOURNAL 2/17/1900:

All wooden water tanks on the Santa Fe are being replaced by steel tanks as fast as they can be reached.

Ft. Madison Iowa DEMOCRAT 6/24/1923:

Santa Fe Rewards Navoo (few miles down river Illinois side of Mississippi River close by Ft. Madison, Iowa, Ellington note) Fireman With Large Sum. Receive Check for $1,000 in Appreciation of Services at time of Bridge Fire, which occurred two months ago.---Officials of the Santa Fe stated that the fine work done by the Navoo men held the flames in check until more help arrived, and saved a greater portion of the bridge from being destroyed..

RAILROAD GAZETTE 6/11/1897 p. 421:

G C & S F Shops from Gainesville to Cleburne.

"---railway preparing to move its shops from Gainesville and Temple Tx., to Cleburne. The three shops used primarily for light repairs; Galveston being the location of heavy repair facilities."

RAILROAD GAZETTE 7/ 8/1904 p. 29: Cleburne Shops Destroyed By Fire.

The shops of the G C & S F at Cleburne were destroyed by fire July 2. Loss of $300,000 divided as follows: Shop $75,000; Machinery $150,000; passenger cars $60,000. Ft. Madison (Iowa) WEEKLY DEMOCRAT 7/ 6/1904.

"---40 minutes after fire discovered, three stone buildings were in ruins, losing everything they contained in coach shop, paint shop, and planing mills. Seven passenger cars were lost, all covered by insurance."

Topeka "JOURNAL" 9/ 9/1904

Improvements In Newton, Ks.

Five new engine stalls at roundhouse and one tunnel stall which will be serve as an entrance to the turntable. This will be a complete circle, and Newton roundhouse will be about the largest on the System.

Topeka "JOURNAL" 6/ 1/1901

(Emporia, Ks.item) Workmen are changing chimneys on about ten roundhouse stalls, putting them next to the outside wall. This will permit engines to be headed in instead of backing in, and will prevent the unusually long engines from butting holes in the (outside) wall.


G C & S F Beaumont Fire.

The roundhouse and machine shops at Beaumont, Texas were destroyed by fire Aug. 24. Five engines and much machinery were totally destroyed, loss estimated at $100,000.


Work on the construction of a new, modern coal chute has been begun by the company at Raton, New Mexico. All over the system, the Santa Fe is putting in a new style of coal chute, looking to having the cost of handling fuel cut down to a minimum of expense.The fuel bill on the railroad is in the neighborhood of three million dollars annually.

Ft. Madison, IA DEMOCRAT

"Early History"

One of the most unusual railroad accidents here occurred before the turn of the century---just a few years after two locals made history by talking the first train across the newly completed Santa Fe bridge in 1887. A local-area farmer was returning from Chicago with his son, and the train reached the bridge during a February night, rolled out almost to the drawspan and stopped. The engineer afterward said he was only obeying the order that all trains must be sure the draw was closed before proceeding, since in those days the draw was supposed to be left open continuously for steamboat traffic, and closed only when trains crossed. When the train stopped, the farmer got up from his seat and lifted down his suitcase, declairing to his son: "We are at Ft. Madison." "I don't think so", replied his son, as he looked around the dimly-lighted coach he saw both the conductor and brakeman were asleep . Insisting they were in Ft. Madison, the father said he'd step out and make sure. He left his suitcase and stepped out the door. Presently the engineer sounded his whistle and the train began to move ahead. The son waited patiently, but his father didn't come back. Concerned, he stepped out on the platform but his father was not there. He stepped carefully across to the platform of the next car---there were no vestibules in those days, just platforms with steps down each side. His father wasn't in the other car either. When the train pulled into the station here, he picked up the suitcase and hurried out onto the platform. His father didn't get off the train. The son then went to the police. They later found his father lying on the river ice between the sixth and seventh piers. He had stepped off the car platform, plunged through the opening between the railroad track and adjoining high board partition separating it from the wagon track, and fell 35 feet to his death on the ice.

Additional (related) item.
Those familiar with the first Santa Fe bridge here which was replaced in the mid-twenties with the present structure, will recall that it had but a single track which led inevitably to head-on collisions between west-bound trains coming off the double track at Niota (Illinois side, my note) onto the approach and east-bound trains coming on the bridge. This resulted finally in the present, huge double-track bridge with its auto deck above, the new structure being the largest draw-span in the world. The first bridge had wagon roads on either side of the track, one eastbound and the other westbound, with the toll house on the Iowa end. High wooden partitions prevented horses---and people---from seeing passing trains and taking fright. On the Ft. Madison (west, my note) end of the bridge, the wagon road crossed the railroad track which curved on and into the bridge and you couldn't see beyond the curve, a potential danger spot which usually made a farmer cluck nervously at his team to hurry lest some fast train coming off the bridge might find him in the center of the track.



The story of the founding, rise and growth of the Harvey system is one of fascination interest. Frederick Harvey, the founder of the system, died last year. English born, with a mind for detail and the nerves for work, opened the first eating house at the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe railroad station at Topeka, where passengers bound for Colorado might eat. That was in 1876. It was the beginning, and a small unpromising one. From scullion to owner there were hardly twenty persons employed, but it was a good little hotel, and travelers began to look forward to the Topeka meal stop. As the Santa Fe took its westward way, the eating houses followed, and in a few years the Topeka station was far behind in importance when compared to others. Now the Harvey system has 50 hotels on the Santa Fe and the St. Louis & San Francisco railways and more than 2,000 persons are on the payrolls. It is a remarkable organization that serves a traveler as well in the Mojave desert as he would be served in a Chicago or Kansas City hotel. The fact that a railway station happens to be a hundred miles from the nearest garden patch does not prevent the serving of fresh vegetables and fruits there at any meal. Let the little station be 2,000 miles from Kansas City, and wastefullness, inattenton, inferior meals or poor service will become known to headquarters as certainly as if the hotel and the home office were in the same building. It's all the result of 26 years of attention to the rule which a Kansas City 'Star' (newspaper, my note) writer says Frederick Harvey set for himself; "Always surpass the average." The Harvey system is managed upon the plan of a railway. It centers in the general office in Kansas City and the territory is in divisons, each with a superintendent. Fred Harvey and D. Benjamin are at the head of the system. Traveling auditors "check up" the hotels as they would stations for a railway. Each manger is responsible for his own house and reports to his superintendent. The superintendent is responsible for his division. When a manager needs groceries or meats he sends in his requisition and it is filled from a stock as large as most wholesale grocers carry. But with vegetables, fruits or fish, it is different. Every day, every agent sends in a market report giving the prices on the best grade of produce in his territory. If good potatos happen to be lower a t Arkansas City than at other points in Colorado, New Mexico or Arizona, for instance, the Arkansas City manager will supply the houses in that section. Possibly within a month, prices will have changed radically, and he will have his potatos shipped from a manager in Texas. At one season eggs may be supplied to the whole system from Newton, Kansas, and at another California tables are carrying Missouri eggs.In this way the cheapest markets in all products between Chicago and San Francisco are always up for any hotel on the system. Refigerator cars on passenger train time carry the products. The seals (refrigerator car security locks, my note) are broken at any hotel that needs the supplies. Then cars are closed again and rushed to the next eating station.


The details of the superb management of the Harvey system are of the greatest interest. Every manager makes a daily report which reaches headquarters. In this he tells the number of guests at each meal, what was served, the amount of supplies used and so on. From this report not only can be learned the actual costs of each meal, but what percentage of the whole, the coffee the breads or the meats may have been. If the manger at Dodge City is constantly using much greater percentages of coffee than the manager at Albuquerque, it causes suspicion that the Dodge City manager is wasteful or perchance the Albuquerque manager is not serving coffee of the proper strength, and explanation is called for. The Dodge City man may show that a soldier train stopped there and was supplied with a hundred gallons of coffee and the incident is closed. He may have no explanation and his standing at headquarters suffers. In the same manner the comparison or reports may show that one manager is serving steaks too sparingly or cutting the ham for sandwiches too thick. There is no waste or loss at any of the hotels without immediate detection at the general offices.


This close attention to the daily record of each house has other than a direct financial side to it. It also tends to maintain uniformity of service and that is what the Harveys have always worked hard to preserve. The meal in the desert or on the crest of the mountain range must be as good as the one in the most favorably located station. Freight or express charges are nothing to the hotel manager---the system brings supplies into his house and he is paid to serve as good a meal with as little expense as any other house, or give a good reason for not doing so. If one managers report shows the cost of meals to be much lower than those of the hotels nearest him, the superintendent will study his methods that they may be applied to other houses. But woe to him if is found that he is cutting expenses at the cost of the standard set by the system; he would fare as badly as if he had been found wasteful or careless, for it always has been Fred Harvey policy to place the comfort and pleasure of his patrons first. At one hotel he had a manger whom he prized and paid accordingly, but one day a guest complained to the Kansas City office that he had not been dealt with courteously. On his next inspection tour Mr. Harvey asked the manager for his explanation. "Yes, I may have been brusque," the manager said, but Mr. Harvey, that man was an out-and-out crank." "A crank, was he? That's the kind of men you are employed to handle", was the reply, "anyone can get along with a gentleman; please remember that our patrons are always right."


It was far from smooth sailing in the earlier days; they say that at Deming the cowboys insisted on riding through the office into the dining room. At Lamy in the cattle trail days, a manager asked one of the cowpunchers to pay cash for his meal; the whole village was insulted. The manager was asked to leave before the next day, and he resigned by wire. (telegraph, my note) In such cases, Mr. Harvey would hasten to the station, meet the ever-ready committee of citizens, and smooth things out. In all of the hotels with one exception, the waiters are, as in Albuquerque, young women in snowy white aprons and black dresses---a uniform over the entire system, but which is changed frequently to pure white. The exception is at The Needles, California, in the Mojave desert. There the heat and sand are too much for women, and men are waiters.


The Harvey tendency now is to develop the eating house into a hotel---smaller than those of the big cities, but their equal or superior in service and equipment.The tourist who has done Europe and is now seeing his own country on stop-over tickets is growing to be a factor. The man who would study New Mexico can stop at Albuquerque in the hotel Alvarado and be given accommodations not surpassed and seldom equaled in any fashionable resort. More houses and more meals served at each house mean better meals for seventy-five cents, the standard price on the Harvey system. The company makes a smaller profit per meal and improves its service as business grows. A minute saving here and another there mean large sums in the course of a year on the entire system, and experiments in economy that will not affect the standard of the service are constant. In that line, a poultry farm is now undergoing establishment near Newton, Kansas. The fifty Harvey hotels use 20,000 chickens a month, not to mention turkeys, ducks, geese, and game fowl. On the Newton farm, chickens will be fattened for the table and it is expected that the plan will give the hotels a better grade of poultry and cause a saving in money at the same time. Near Las Vegas is a farm which supports many fine Jerseys; at Deming is a smaller farm on the same nature. Pure milk and cream that really is cream comes to Albuquerque and other western houses from those ranches. Aside from the hotels along the Santa Fe and 'Frisco railways, the Harvey system operates about thirty dining cars and one steamer. All the thorough trains between Chicago and Kansas City, and the limited trains from Chicago to San Francisco have dining cars attached. The boat carries passengers across San Francisco bay and meets the trains from the east at whatever time they may come in. Berths and meals are provided and it is in fact a floating hotel. Railway men acknowledge that travelers are often influenced in their choice of routes by the fact that the Harvey houses are on a certan railway, and that meal stops give them a change of air and a chance to relax their muscles cramped by the sitting of a long ride. "Some passengers between Chicago and California prefer the trains stopping at hotels for meals." said Fred Harvey, now at the head of the system, "while many will choose the limited train with its dining car. To the man who can spare a few hours out of four days the twenty-minute stops may be a pleasant relaxation with a glimpse at the country and the people. The service in hotels and cars is practically the same and we are equally glad to offer it on either plan." Charles F. Whittlesey, architect for the Santa Fe and Harvey systems, is now superintending the building of six new Harvey hotels at Merced, Bakersfield, and Cochran in California, Trinidad in Colorado, Raton in New Mexico, and Shawnee, Indian Territory. Among the better grade of houses on the Santa Fe system are those at Dodge City, Newton, Las Vegas, Ash Fork and Seligman. Plans for a unique structure of rough logs and stone at the Grand Canyon have been drawn. The hotel will also be ran by the Harveys; but, after all is said, the splendid Alvarado at Albuquerque far exeeds in beauty and elegance any house of the Harvey system and any hotel in the southwest."


Santa Fe To Call New Hotel 'THE ALVARADO'.

Wonderful Ethnological Museum As A Side Attraction.
Electrical Appliances.
House Has an 'Introcontroversey' Telephone System.
Also Has The Most Elaborate Bar Room In The West.

The name of the new hotel which the Santa Fe has just completed in Albuquerque, is to be the 'Alvarado'. Some time ago the Topeka Daily State Journal printed a picture of the hotel as it will look when completed. Within a short time the immense new building will be ready to receive guests. Vice President (Santa Fe, my note) Paul Morton, while in Albuquerque a few days ago, visited the 'Alvarado' and pronounced it one of the most sumptuous public buildings he ever saw. During the past two or three years the passenger department of the Santa Fe has given particular attention to the Indian features of the line. This road is the great artery east and west throughout Arizona and New Mexico, and the dictricts through which it operates are rich in Indian and Mexican subjects in study of ethnology. The Santa Fe and Harvey companies have gradually gathered thousands of relics and curios connected with the life, customs and environment of the Indians and Mexicans in tribes of questionable origin, and made their homes in the areas of Arizona years before the white man invaded that section of the United States. The Albuquerque 'Daily Citizen' in a recent issue gives an interestsing account of the electrical appliances being place in the hotel. It says that J.E. Seaman, of the Seaman Electric Company of Chicago, is putting in the last of the lights and the final touches on the introcontroversey telephone system. The system designed and made especially for the hotel Alvarado. It consists of ten phones, one in each department of the hotel and surrounding buildings. Each phone has communication with all the others. The hotel is also supplied with a modern automatic electric combination turn call and fire alarm system. In each room is a call station and a fire alarm bell. The clerk, by pressing a button on the side of the indicator can warn every guest in the house of a fire. The lighting of the building is something grand. No time or expense is spared to make the Spanish architectural effect complete. The dining hall, which is the largest room in the building, is located in the west wing and is strictly Spanish style. The ceiling is very low with black oak rafters showing against the white background. It is lighted with twelve stalactite opalescent light bulbs, five large electroilers with eight lights each, and sixteen brackets of two lights each. The mounting in this room is antique brass. The lobby, which is separated from the dining room by a short corridor, is in the northwest part of the building, and lighted by eight electroilers of three lights each, each light shaded by an opalescent globe. On the north of the lobby are the parlors; one is for the ladies, and one general parlor. The ladies parlor is lighted by electroilers containing eleven opalescent incandescents, which are very beautiful. The general parlor is supplied with a cluster of high lights similar to those of the ladies parlor. Above the office in the lobby is arranged a band stand, whereby when the hotel is occupied, the orchestra will play during the evening. In the east wing is located the saloon and tonsorial parlors. The bar room, without a doubt, is one of the most elaborate in the west. The bar is located on the north side of the room and is without a mirror. The lower part of the bar is a black oak, the top a polished mahogany. In back of it above the glass shelf are two oil paintings, both of general style. On the south side of the room, along the wall are arranged seats in old fashioned inn style. The room is lighted by four clusters of six opalestic globe lights each. The kitchen is on the extreme south end of the building and is lighted by fifteen incandescent lights with porcelain shades. East of the kitchen and south of this plaza is the lunch room, this room is lighted by a single brass electroiler of ten incandescents. On the east end of the plaza facing the west, is the Kiask, this room is about sixty feet long and twenty feet wide, and lighted by sixty incandencents placed on Bower/Barbe-finished brackets. The hotel veranda is also lighted by incandescents on brackets of the same finish. With the exception of the lobby, all the large rooms on the lower floor front on the plaza. The plaza is surrounded by walks and in the center is a fountain. A very remarkable feature about the hotel is the refrigerator room. The ice boxes in this room are lighted by water-proof incandescents that light automatically with the opening of the door. There is also a laundry and butcher shop, and private dining rooms in every part of the building. Upstairs on the second and third floors are the bedrooms and bath. On the top of the hotel between the four Spanish architectural spires, is an observatory or roof garden and a fine view of the mountains can be obtained. Mr. Seaman says that the entire lighting system of the hotel Alvarado constitutes close onto eight hundred lights, and is a very extensive system for a building of its size, the cost being about $6,000..


Union Depot Assured In Kansas City.
Six Roads Purchase Site For Use

What is known as a southside location will comprise the ground lying between Grand Ave. and Broadway, south of 21st street. Six railroads have combined in securing the site. The Santa Fe; Union Pacific; Rock Island; Chicago & Alton; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul; and the St. Louis & San Francisco. Probably the Missouri, Kansas & Texas will agree to the new depot, other roads have made known their desires.



Santa Fe's fine new hotel "BISONETTE", opened for business a few days ago. (Hutchinson, Ks., Ellington note). It is here that passengers on trains numbers 2 and 10 get their breakfast, and trains numbers 1 and 5 get their supper. The Old English of the Tudor period was used in this hotel. The huge building is of brick, and has heavy gables and red tile roof. Large verandas surround the house. Railroad hotels usually present a forbidding appearance to the would-be guest. Frequently, if one desires to stand in the open air he must stand up like a cigar store Indian, or take a chair from the lobby and crowd the sidewalks. The "Bisonette", like the "Casteneda", the "Cardenas", the "Alvarado", the "Escalante", and the El Tovar", is well provided for the comfort of those who like to spend some time out of doors. Inside, luxury and refinement are evident in the furnishings. The lobby furniture and decorations are of an early English period. The wood work is an old cathedral brown, the walls being of a lighter shade. In this room is an immense open fireplace with huge English black andirons. The floor of the room is of mosaic tiling, the pattern being specifically designed for the hotel as are also the lobby chairs which are covered with black or brown leather, and cost between $50 and $100 apiece. 125 guests can find lodging here. There are 30 rooms with private baths. In a great many of the rooms the furniture is solid mahogany, in others with private of fumed oak. The comfort of the 70 hotel employees has not been overlooked. For their use, light and cheerfully comfortably furnished rooms have been provided. Private bathrooms are among the conveniences. In additon, in the employees quarters is a large rest room for the women.


The Harvey House at Bagdad in the Mojave desert was burned to the ground last week.

Florence, Ks. "BULLETIN" 1/11/1900:

Fred Harvey, proprietor of the best railway eating house system in the world was in Florence Tuesday.

Florence, Ks. "BULLETIN" 2/ 8/1900:

The roof of the kitchen at the "CLIFTON" hotel caught fire last Saturday, but was extinguished by prompt action of the girls employed there.

Florence, Ks. "BULLETIN" 3/30/1900:

The "Clifton", Santa Fe's eating house here closes tomorrow night; they will go from here to Newton.

Florence, Ks. "BULLETIN" 4/ 4/1900:

The Harvey eating house at Florence has been closed and moved to Newton.

RAILROAD GAZETTE 5/15/1891 p. 341:

Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe. The repair shops at Galveston were burned last Friday with four locomotives, 5 cars with their lumber loads, 1 baggage and 6 passenger cars, besides all tools belonging to the workmen.


The depot hotel fed 300 people this morning.


The eating houses on the line of the Santa Fe controlled by Mr. Harvey are twelve in number--Topeka, Florence, Newton, Kinsley, and Coolidge in Kansas; La Junta in Colorado; Las Vegas, Lamy, Wallace. Rincon and Deming in New Mexico...with reputation of being the best-managed of any of its kind in the world..


Material arriving for new interlocking tower here, work to begin in a few days.


New interlocking tower almost completed but will be nearly a month before the connecting track work is completed.


The new interlocking tower in the yards here has received a coat of white paint, which is quite a departure from the usual custom; most Santa Fe buildings are painted red.


New Raton depot.

The stakes for the new passenger depot were driven Wednesday morning, says the Raton, 'RANGE'. Construction to be begun at once and work pushed---. To be located at the foot of Cook Avenue, it's center being in the middle of the street. To be built in old Spanish Mission style of concrete and will be 170' long and 56' in width. On ground floor two large waiting rooms, two toilet rooms, a ticket office, baggage room, express room, trainmasters and telegraphers offices. Arcades will surround the entire building as well as broad pavements of vitrified brick, and on the ends of the structure will be blue grass lawns, trees and fountains. Building will be two stories in height near north end, crowned by a tower; there will also be a tower at south end. Also a new freight depot will be built south of the new passenger depot.


The Grand Canyon of the Colorado hotel of the Santa Fe Railroad will be a thing realized before next spring, following word to let contracts, to be ready for guests next March. Arrangements were held until Santa Fe was assured of exclusive use of area of the purpose on Federal lands ever since the branch track was built from Williams to Bright Angel Trail, the hotel has been planned. Cost of the new edifice will be about $50,000, exclusive of furniture.


The entire Santa Fe roundhouse force at Beaumont, (recently burned), has been discharged by Superintendent Nixon on charges of carelessness, and permitting the fire to gain headway before outside assistance was summoned.


It is stated the Santa Fe roundhouse at Beaumont is to be rebuilt shortly.


The Grand Montezuma hotel at Las Vegas, New Mexico, the property of the Santa Fe, was burned on the 17th. The fire originated in the basement, and in 30 minutes was in ruins. The hotel was one of the finest structures in the West. The loss is $300,000, and the insurance less than $100,000, distributed among a large number of companies.

Ft. Madison, Iowa 'DEMOCRAT' 7/25/1888:

The Santa Fe has built houses for sectionmen at Dahinda, Nott, and Surrey, (Illinois) located about 10 miles apart.


The bridge by which the Santa Fe crosses the Missouri River at Kansas city, was crossed by the first regular train January 29, 1888, although one of the four spans was not yet complete, but it was expected to have it done by the middle of February. Total length of the bridge is 3,900 ft. There are three through spans of 400 ft. each, and 4 iron deck spans varying from 175 to 250 ft. in length, with an iron viaduct over the bottoms, 1,900 ft. There are 3,600 ft. of wooden trestle bridge, which it is intended to fill eventually with earth embankment. The main river piers are 122 ft. from bed rock to bridge seat. These piers were put down by pneumatic cassion, on account of the numerous and large boulders found in the river bed. The act of Congress in giving the authority for the building of the Sibley bridge was approved January 4, 1884. The location was finally decided upon in 1887, although the act of Congress gave the alternative of either building a low bridge with a draw, or a high bridge with sufficient head room for the river traffic, it was decided to build the bridge in the upper part of the Sibley bend, which would have given a very direct line, but it was not only found that the channel of the river was very unstable at this point, as it generally is at the upper end of a bend, or lower end of a crossing, but it was also found that the bed rock lay very much deeper at this point, being no less than 83 ft. below the water, while at the lower end of the bend, the shelf rock was found extending quite across the river and only 30 ft. below the water. Just above the shelf of rock that crops out on the shore, is a glacial moraine composed of boulders of granite porphyry and metamorphic sandstone. It was thought by the engineers that this glacial moraine was in some way connected with the shallow depth of the bed rock below the water, and to test this supposition they took borings over the bottom lands from bluff to bluff entirely across the valley, which is here some four miles wide. They found that the bed rock, which is about 30 ft. below low water under the present site of the river was abraided to a depth of 110 to 120 ft. below the water under the present bottom lands, and they reached the conclusion that the Missouri valley had not been excavated through the adjacent bluffs by the present forces of the river, but had been worked down by glacial action, and that the moraine already described had been deposited at the pivotal point in that glacier, where motion was so slight as to cause a depossit of the boulders carried down on the edges of the ice, instead of dragging them forward, and depositing them in the bed of the river where they are found scattered wherever a deep bridge foundation penetrates to the bed rock. This conclusion was verified by making a map showing the adancent bluffs from which it became very evident that the old glacier changed its direction at the very site selected for the bridge. The total cost of the bridge is said to have been $800,000, and the total weight of the iron and steel in the superstructure is nearly 7,000,000 lbs. It has been built under the direction of Mr. A.A. Robinson, Chief Engineer of the Santa Fe, and Octave Chanute, consulting engineer. The contractor for the superstructure was Sooysmith & Co. The contract awarded to them in Feruary 1887. In April they began construction of the first caisson. The superstructure was made by Edge Moor Iron Co. The erection of the superstructure began August 1887, and 1,900 feet of viaduct were put in place by September 10. Bridges across the Missouri river are at Kansas City, St. Charles; Omaha; St. Joseph; Plattsmouth; Booneville; Bismark; Blair; Omaha; Randolph and Sibley.


The Orient/Frisco freight and passenger depot in Custer City, Oklahoma, was struck by lightning Monday and burned to the ground. All the Orient records had been stored in that building and everything was lost so all records previous to 1907 on the Orient were lost.

RAILROAD GAZETTE 5/15/1892 p. 341:

Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe

The repair shops at Galveston were burned last Friday with four locomotives, 5 cars loaded with oil, 2 with lumber, 1 baggage and 6 passenger cars besides all tools belonging to the workmen.


Santa Fe depot at Cottonwood Falls was burned Saturday night, loss $6,000. A box car has been fitted up as a temporary depot and will be used as such until a new structure can be built.


At a meeting of the Harvey System directors at Chicago last week it was decided to erect four new eating houses on the lines of the Santa Fe. According to plans which were adopted, Wellington, Woodward, Texico and Belen will be the favored towns. Wellington has long been a good town for the Santa Fe, and is now a division point.

RAILROAD GAZETTE 10/03/1874 p. 388:

Atchison (Ks.) Bridge.

The caisson for the pivot pier of the bridge over the Missouri River at Atchison was launched Sept. 24. The caisson is 46' square by 15' feet high and weighs 350 tons. A large force of men and several boats are now employed in the work of the contractor, the American Bridge Company of Chicago.


Needles Depot Burns.
Santa Fe conductor F.M. Carter loses his life in the fire.

The Santa Fe passenger depot and railroad hotel at Needles, California, were destroyed by fire early today. In addition to the conductor, Priscilla Bastian, waitress, was also burned to death. Several other persons were severely burned.


The Santa Fe depot at Howard, Kansas on the Howard branch burned yesterday with all its contents.


The GULF, COLORADO & SANTA FE has awarded to Harvey Silver, Kansas City, Mo., contract for erection of its shop facilities at Galveston, Tx. The improvements will include a 16 -stall engine house, a machine and blacksmith shop, a store house and sand storage facilities, all of brick construction. These and other improvements will be installed by company forces and will bring the expenditure at this point to more than $100,000.00.

THE RAILWAY REVIEW 10/31/1896 p.631:

"The Santa Fe Ry. Co. is putting in an immense new steel bridge across the Cimarron river north of Guthrie, Oklahoma. The rapidly increasing traffic to the Gulf makes it necessary and also many other improvements on its track. The branch of the road running south to the Gulf is now doing double the business of any other division and daily increasing."

RAILROAD GAZETTE 2/08/1907 p. 194:

The State Railroad Commission, Austin,Tx.,has issued an order requiring the SANTA FE, the SOUTHERN PACIFIC, the GALVESTON, HOUSTON and HENDERSON, and the MISSOURI, KANSAS & TEXAS to jointly build a causeway, 140' wide, two miles long, over Galveston Bay, at a cost of $4,000,000.

RAILROAD GAZETTE 1/08/1909 p. 91:

Galveston Tx. press reports indicate the Santa Fe has authorized the signing of the Galveston causeway contract. V.P. and Gen'l. Mgr. F. Pettibone is quoted as having said that actual work will commence within 60 days.

RAILROAD GAZETTE 7/23/1909 p. 173:

The Galveston causeway, for which the contract was let July 5th as mentioned in the Gazette of July 9th, is to cost $1,329,400, acccording to the contract. The Penn Bridge Co. Beaver Falls, Pa., will build a Class B Scherzer rolling lift bridge at a contract price of $94,400, and put in an interlocking system at $3,000.About $100,000 is to be paid for the present one-track---article continued, not available here.

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