Some Santa Fe Scale Houses


Last revised: May 7, 2005
Maintained by Evan Werkema.


Many yards across the Santa Fe system, large and small, had scale tracks for weighing loaded cars. As with most things, Santa Fe developed system standards for these scales and their associated scale houses. The number of scales has dwindled in recent years, but a few examples can still be found here and there. Some are shown below. If you have pictures or information to add, drop us a line.


Albuquerque, NM

This wooden scalehouse at Albuquerque was typical of many that once existed across the system. The house retains its standard Colonial Yellow paint with a red tin shingle roof. The weights and beam of the Fairbanks scale were located inside. Opposite corners are shown for the benefit of modelers.

The third photo shows the track arrangement across the scale, which included a second set of rails that was not attached to the scale mechanism. The scales generally could not support the weight of a locomotive, so the "dead" rails (the ones further from the scalehouse) acted as a bypass that the locomotive could use as it pulled or pushed cars over the "live" rails connected to the scale. The bottom photo shows the hub-style switch stand that gave access to the scale track.

The scale at Albuquerque was removed in the mid-1990's.


Great Bend, KS

Another scale house, similar to Albuquerque, was located across from the depot at Great Bend, KS. The Central Kansas RR now owns this trackage, and the scale was still in place as of 1999.


Gallup, NM

Gallup's scalehouse was also similar to Albuquerque and Great Bend, but wore a "Coast Lines" paint scheme of red and white. Note the different lamp arrangement compared to the others.


Waynoka, OK

This scalehouse once served the Santa Fe at Waynoka, OK. By the time of this 2002 photograph, it had been moved to a farm and apparently abandoned. As of mid-2005, the Waynoka Historical Society has plans to restore the structure and move it back to Waynoka, where the society also administers the ex-ATSF depot and Harvey House. Photo courtesy of Sandie Olson.


Newton, KS (Sand Creek Yard)

Surviving examples of scale houses built to the plans shown in Kachina Press's Santa Fe System Standards Vol. 1, pp. 71-72 are fairly rare. One example, though, is this scale house at Sand Creek yard in Newton, KS.

Other scale houses believed to still exist:


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