ATSF's Multicolor Bonnets

Santa Fe Railroad's "Warbonnet" paint scheme was the most highly recognized industrial graphic of the 20th Century. Unfortunately, the Santa Fe exited the passenger business in May 1971, leaving scores of classically attired "warbonnet" locomotives to be repurposed. Because ATSF typically disdained building motive power consists with locomotives wearing different paint schemes, scores of surplus F7s, F9s, FP45s, U28CGs and U30CGs were repainted into either a blue or yellow variant of the bonnet scheme. The first "bluebonnet" is thought to have appeared late in 1971, with the "yellowbonnet" debuting early the following year. There were several variations in the new bonnet schemes, which suggest that a corporate specification was slow to develop. This profile is an attempt to delineate the evolution that eventually occurred.

(ATSF F7A 37C with train #20 - The Chief" - was captured at Barstow, California in March 1967. Larry Sallee photo)

XXXX A Photo Review (Click on image to enlarge)

EMD-Built F7A and FP45 Models

ATSF #271C (Blue/yellow)

T.H. Chenoweth photo

ATSF #304 (Yellow w/blue noseband)

Dan Dover photo

ATSF #328 (Yellow w/blue nose stripe)

Charles Stookey photo

ATSF #335 (Blue/silver)

T.H. Chenoweth photo

ATSF #341 (Yellow w/blue nose band & strippe)

T.H. Chenoweth photo

ATSF #346 (Yellow w/yellow nose band)

Tom Chenoweth photo

ATSF #101

R. Craig photo

ATSF #5944

Craig Walker photo

ATSF #5942

Craig Walker photo

GE-Built Passenger U-boat Models

ATSF #359

Ted Ellis photo

ATSF #7906

R. Craig photo

ATSF #7901

Charles Stookey photo

ATSF #404

Karl Rethwisch photo

ATSF #8001 (yellow noseband)

T.H. Chenoweth photo

ATSF #8004 (blue noseband)

Bill Johnson photo


Format by: R.Craig New: 1 December 2017

Reference sources:

  • Warbonnets by Dan Pope and Mark Lynn
  • The Santa Fe Diesel (volumes 1 & 2) by Dr. Cinthia Priest.

    "Rail", "" and "Flickr" websites were especially helpful here in identify potential photographers and related images. We extend our thanks to these valuable resources. Thanks also to Michael Richmond who was very helpful in identifying and gaining permission to use many of the above photos.

    ** T.H. Chenoweth and Dan Dover images were from the R. Craig slide collection.

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