Robert Waltz 160 pages softcover
On May 17, 1937, the Santa Fe Railway inaugurated a new high-speed diesel-powered luxury train_The Super Chief. It was scheduled to cover the 202 miles between Dodge City, Kansas, and La Junta, Colorado, at an average speed of 87.2 miles per hour. On February 20, 1938, the schedules of virtually all of the passenger trains were speeded up on this stretch of track on the northern passenger mainline, which quickly became known as the _Speedway._ The Speedway was at various times a major part of a division and at times a division in itself. Author Walz explores the history of how the Santa Fe built through this country, of how it served the towns and industries along its lines and how it operated the railroad from the 1870s through 1996. It includes a town-by-own discription of the line with detailed information on terminals like La Junta and Dodge City. But first and foremost, this is a study of the passenger trains_especially in the period from 1938 through 1971_when Santa Fe routinely operated them over the Speedway at some of the highest sustained speeds on the system. Twenty-five years in the making, the book is richly illustrated with period views, including the work of pioneer action photographer Otto Perry. This, then, is not only a study of the Santa Fe Railway in the high plains of western Kansas and eastern Colorado, but an economic and cultural history of the region as well. ""