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Santa Fe Locomotive Development Museum
The Journey to Supreme Steam and Pioneer Diesels

Santa Fe Locomotive Development – Landmark Book by Larry E. Brasher

The SFLD Museum’s theme is founded on Larry E. Brasher’s landmark book Santa Fe Locomotive Development.  The SFLD Museum is honored to have Mr. Brasher and his excellent work on our team.  He serves as one of the museum’s historians and will help develop the exhibits.

Locomotive 5000 is the culmination of decades of research and development by Santa Fe Mechanical Engineers.  Larry’s fine work is the perfect book to bring 5000’s story to life.  As a visitor to the museum you will learn all about 5000 and her significant role in the development of Supreme Steam technology as well as the development process for all of Santa Fe’s unique steam and diesel locomotives built from 1869 – 1944.


Visitors will be greeted by a museum docent who will present them with a brochure describing the exhibits and a map of the entire museum.  The docent will then direct visitors to the “Queen’s Court of Honor” to begin their tour.

Madame Queen’s “Court of Honor”

Engraved on the granite floor of the “Court of Honor” are names of individuals, both living and deceased, who were honored by their families.  Some worked for the Santa Fe Railway as train crew members or held other important positions of service, others       were significant men and women in Madame Queen’s history and development, or just had a deep appreciation for railroad history.  The ‘Court of Honor” Commemorative Granite Plaqueswill soon be available for sale. 


The museum encompasses six exhibits which will provide the visitor with an enhanced interpretation of the “Madame Queen” and provide educational opportunities for all ages.

Exhibit 1: Early Steam Development – The 132 Introduces Large Power

1.  Uncle Dick and The Cyrus K. Holliday
2.  William Strong and Number 738

Exhibit 2: Compounding – Articulated Compounds -Threshold of Modern Power

1.  Experimentation and Expansion – Using steam twice
2.  Compounds and Balanced Four Cylinders
3.  Mallet Instability and Flexible Boilers

Exhibit 3:  The Compound Effort Ends – The Quest for Supreme Steam Begins

1.  Charles T. Ripley and Superheaters
2.  3450 Class 4-6-4s and 3751 Class 4-8-4s
3.  The New 5000 and The Last 3751

Gift Shop

The museum’s gift shop offers a wide variety of gifts for the railroad enthusiast.  You will enjoy gift selections not available anywhere   else, such as the R.A.P.S. hat shown at right.  

Exhibit 4: The Coming of the Diesels – The Twins Arrive

1.  Power in Transition – The M.190
2.  Bledsoe Gambles on Diesel-Electric
3.  Testing the One-Spot Twins
4.  The One-Spot Twins and The Super Chief

Exhibit 5:  The Coming of the FT – Supreme Steam Reigns – John Purcell’s Legacy

1.  From Spoke to Disc Drivers
2.  Streamlining and Supreme Steam
3.  Electro-Motive Corporation’s FT
4.  Review of Steam Power in 1941

Exhibit 6:  Santa Fe’s Big Three:  Purcell, Ripley and Lanning

John Purcell – Hired by Santa Fe Railway in October 1884 (at age 14) as an apprentice in the Mechanical Department. By age 17 he     was a foreman.  Learn how far this young man’s career would take him and Santa Fe’s Mechanical Department.

Charles T. Ripley – Chief Mechanical Engineer, 1922-1938.  Charles designed Dynamometer Car Number 29 in 1911.  This test car      was used to monitor and record the performance of the finest locomotives in the world.

H.H. Lanning – Lanning supervised all mechanical and engineering details in relation to the maintenance, operation and performance    and improvement of existing steam and diesel locomotives and the design and construction of new locomotives.

Find out why these three men were considered one of the finest administrative and engineering teams in the history of

Mega Movers Gallery

Learn about the Relocation of Madam Queen from the early planning thru the actual move in August 2005.  Go behind the scenes and  learn all about what really happened, meet the real people that made it happen through photos, documents, videos and artifacts.


The museum’s exact site is yet to be determined, but will be located in downtown Amarillo. 

Goals of the Museum

Santa Fe Steam Locomotive No. 5000 is classified as a historically significant artifact, and is registered with the Texas Historical Commission. The Society’s vision is to collect materials relating to the role that the Santa Fe Railway’s Mechanical Department had in the development of “Supreme Steam” classes: the 3460 Class of 4-6-4s, the 3765 Class of 4-8-4s and the 5000 classes. The 5000 will be a traveling center piece of the Museum which will present a truly marvelous presence highlighting this story.

The museum will also showcase the brilliance of the men who designed these Classes, and the proficiency of the men who operated theses marvelous machines.
Objectives of the Museum

In order to achieve these goals, it is the Board’s desire that the museum will include the following:

  • History of the Santa Fe Railway
  • Introduction to AT&SF Steam Locomotive No. 5000
  • Development and Evolution of Santa Fe’s Locomotive Technology.
  • Impact of Santa Fe’s Locomotive Development on the nation’s railroads and the nation as a whole.
    *Importance of historic individuals relating to Santa Fe Steam and pioneer Diesel Locomotives