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El Capitan
 

History

Introduced in 1938, El Capitan quickly became one of Santa Fe’s most popular trains. As ridership grew in the 1950s, Santa Fe turned to Budd for new coaches inspired by double-deck commuter cars and dome cars. The new “Hi-Levels” were an instant success, and by 1956, Santa Fe had enough for five complete El Capitan consists. Standard baggage, Railway Post Office and baggage-dorm cars handled headend chores, but because of the height difference, baggage-dorms were fitted with rooftop shrouds for a smooth transition. After 1958, El Capitan and Super Chief were combined in off-peak periods, with the lower-priced Hi-Levels up front and the luxury cars at the rear. Santa Fe reluctantly joined Amtrak in 1971, and its Hi-Levels continued on the Super Chief/El Capitan through 1974, when the train was renamed the Southwest Limited. As of 2011, several Hi-Level coaches are privately owned and five of the lounges serve as “Pacific Parlour Cars” on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight.

Read how Santa Fe introduced the new HI-Level El Capitan to employees in this original brochure, courtesy of Classic Toy Trains Magazine: http://ctt.trains.com/

Click Here to browse all of Walthers available Name Trains on our Name Train homepage.

Product Listings

The HI-LEVEL Train That’s
Fun for Everyone!

  • Based on Cars used from 1956 to 1971
  • Real Metal Finish
  • Prototypically Accurate Window Tinting
  • All Grab Irons Factory Installed
  • Mix & Match w/Super Chief Cars – Just like the Prototype!
PROTO 2000® Santa Fe 37-Class F7 Locomotives
  • Detailed to Match Units in Service 1956-60 with:
          * Leslie 5-Chime S5T Horn
          * 36" Dynamic Brake Fan
          * Mars Light
          * Vertical Farr Type Stainless Side Grilles
  • Real Metal Finish
  • Typically Run in A-B-B-A Lash-ups
  • Available with Full-Feature Tsunami® Sound & DCC Decoder
  • 14:1 Gear Ratio for Easy Multiple-Unit Operations
A Unit

B Unit

A-B Sets
920-40687 #39L & 39A Tsunami® Sound & DCC $479.98
920-40688 #39C & 39B Tsunami Sound & DCC $479.98
920-47687 #38L & 38A Standard DC $329.98
920-47688 #38C & 38B Standard DC $329.98

Matching A Unit Only
920-40689 #41L Tsunami Sound & DCC $259.98
920-40690 #41C Tsunami Sound & DCC $259.98
920-47689 #40L Standard DC $169.98
920-47690 #40C Standard DC $169.98

Matching B Unit Only
920-40691 #41A Tsunami Sound & DCC $259.98
920-40692 #41B Tsunami Sound & DCC $259.98
920-47691 #40A Standard DC $169.98
920-47692 #40B Standard DC $169.98


Lighting Kits
932-1055 Passenger Car Interior LED Lighting Kit
932-1056 Passenger Car Interior LED Lighting Kit w/LED Tail Sign

Budd 73' Baggage Car #3500-3554
Budd 63' Railway Post Office #89-98
Job #9607-135
932-9730
Budd 63' Railway Post Office #89-98
Budd 73' Baggage Car #3500-3554
Job #9601-135 #3500-3539; Job #9601-209 #3540-3554
932-9740
P-S 85' Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car #3477-3479
P-S 85' Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car #3477-3479
Lot #6734, Plan #7508
932-9750
Budd 85' Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Coach #528-537
Budd 85' Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Coach #528-537
Job #9679-166
932-9760
Budd 85' Hi-Level 72-Seat Coach #700-724
Budd 85' Hi-Level 72-Seat Coach #700-724
Job #9670-166
932-9770
Budd 85' Hi-Level "Sky Lounge" #575-580
Budd 85' Hi-Level "Sky Lounge" #575-580
Job #9657-166
932-9780
Budd 85' Hi-Level Diner #650-655
Budd 85' Hi-Level Diner #650-655
Job #9668-166
932-9790
Budd 85' Hi-Level Step Down 68-Seat Coach w/Tail Sign #528-537
Budd 85' Hi-Level Step Down 68-Seat Coach w/Tail Sign #528-537
Job #9679-166
932-9761

Click Here to browse all of Walthers available Name Trains on our Name Train homepage.

Product Features

The HI-LEVEL Train That’s Fun for Everyone!

Racing the clock between Los Angeles and Chicago, Santa Fe’s El Capitan thunders by in a flash of silver - right on time!

An instant success from its 1938 debut, the popular coach streamliner was refitted in 1956 with its signature Hi-Level cars. Inspired by the new domes on many luxury trains, passengers rode eight feet higher than a standard car, and had a magnificent view through large side windows.

Based on El Capitan as it ran from 1956 to 1971, Walthers ninth HO Scale name train features eight new cars, plus matching 37-Class F7s from PROTO 2000® to build an authentic consist!

  • Based on Cars used from 1956 to 1971
  • Real Metal Finish
  • Prototypically Accurate Window Tinting
  • All Grab Irons Factory Installed
  • Tail Sign Can be Lighted
  • Tables in Diner & Lounge Painted in Contrasting Colors
  • Mix & Match w/Super Chief Cars - Just like the Prototype!
  • Car Number Decals
  • Superb Detail Inside & Out
  • Proto MAX™ Metal Knuckle Couplers
  • Correct Trucks with RP-25 Metal Wheels

First Edition Cars come with:
* Certificate of Authenticity
* Special Equipment History

Click Here to browse all of Walthers available Name Trains on our Name Train homepage.

Consist Info

Typical El Capitan Consists
Combing Hi-Level cars, PROTO 2000® 16-Class F3s or 37-Class F7 diesels, and Walthers Super Chief cars, it’s easy to model a typical train from 1956 to the late 1960s. Here are some sample consist to help you get started:

Summer 1956-58
Train #21 El Capitan Chicago-Los Angeles

Summer vacation time actually meant more work for El Capitan, as demand often required additional coaches in the consist.

F3/F7 A-B-B-A
Baggage (storage mail)
Baggage
Baggage-Dormitory (transition car)
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level Diner
Hi-Level Lounge
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car

Train #22 El Capitan Los Angeles-Chicago
Mail helped pay the bills for many trains, and Railway Post Office cars traveled east on the Hi-Level El Capitan from La Junta to Kansas City, and Kansas City to Chicago.

F3/F7 A-B-B-A
Railway Post Office
Baggage
Baggage-Dormitory (transition car)
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level Diner
Hi-Level Lounge
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car
Eastbound, a working Railway Post Office ran La Junta-Kansas City, and Kansas City-Chicago.

Post 1958
#17/18 Combined Super Chief & El Capitan

Starting in January 1958, Super Chief and El Capitan were run as a single train during off peak times to reduce costs.

F3/F7 A-A-B-B-A
Baggage (storage mail)
Railway Post Office
Baggage (storage mail)
Baggage-Dormitory (transition car)
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level Diner
Hi-Level Lounge
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car
10-6 Pine Series Sleeper
4-4-2 Regal Series Sleeper
“Pleasure Dome” Lounge
Standard Diner
4-4-2 Regal Series Sleeper
10-6 Pine Series Sleeper
10-6 Pine Series Sleeper

Summer 1965
Second Section #17/18 Combined Super Chief & El Capitan

Although #17/18 was one train, summer demand often required two sections. When needed, the Super Chief equipment led the way, followed by the Hi-Level El Capitan.

F3/F7 A-A-B-B-A
Baggage
Railway Post Office
Baggage
Baggage-Dormitory (transition car)
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level Diner
Hi-Level Lounge
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 72-Seat Chair Car
Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Chair Car

Click Here to browse all of Walthers available Name Trains on our Name Train homepage.

Deluxe Edition

SOLD OUT

Walthers would like to extend its sincere thanks to our customers for the unprecedented success of the new HO Scale El Capitan. As a result, all 350 of the Deluxe Edition El Capitan Trains (#932-800) are now sold out at Walthers. We want everyone to know we’re still taking orders for all standard cars, PROTO 2000® 37-Class F7 Diesels and LED Lighting Kits.

 

Limited-Run Deluxe Edition El Capitan Train

For the most demanding modeler and collector, Walthers proudly introduces a Deluxe Edition El Capitan Train in HO! Limited to just 350 sets, the Deluxe Edition comes with nine cars to model a typical consist, including the standard Baggage, Railway Post Office and Baggage-Dorm Transition Car, plus six deluxe Hi-Level cars: 48-Seat Step-Down Coach, two 72-Seat Coaches, Diner, Lounge and 48-Seat Step-Down Coach w/Tail Sign that feature:

  • Factory-Installed LED Interior Lighting -- works on DC or DCC
  • Factory-Installed Preiser Passengers -- Over 175 Figures Total!
  • Step-Down Coach with Lighted Drumhead Tail Sign
  • Numbered Certificate of Authenticity

(Cars will be shipped with random certificate numbers; sorry matching number sets not available.)

In addition to these extra features, a $58.00 value per car in materials alone, Deluxe Edition cars are ready to enjoy!

Sold only as a complete nine-car consist, Deluxe Edition cars with unique item numbers ship the same month as standard models. Each Deluxe Hi-Level is priced at $125.00 and will not be available from open stock; standard cars are priced as noted at walthers.com.

You can learn more about the sold-out Deluxe Edition here.

Budd 73' Baggage Car #3500-3554
Budd 63' Railway Post Office #89-98 October 2011
Job #9607-135
Budd 63' Railway Post Office #89-98
Budd 73' Baggage Car #3500-3554 November 2011
Job #9601-135 #3500-3539; Job #9601-209 #3540-3554
P-S 85' Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car #3477-3479
P-S 85' Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car #3477-3479 February 2012
Lot #6734, Plan #7508
Budd 85' Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Coach #528-537
Budd 85' Hi-Level 68-Seat Step Down Coach #528-537 December 2011
Job #9679-166
Budd 85' Hi-Level 72-Seat Coach #700-724
Budd 85' Hi-Level 72-Seat Coach #700-724 January 2012
Job #9670-166
Budd 85' Hi-Level "Sky Lounge" #575-580
Budd 85' Hi-Level "Sky Lounge" #575-580 March 2012
Job #9657-166
Budd 85' Hi-Level Diner #650-655
Budd 85' Hi-Level Diner #650-655 April 2012
Job #9668-166
Budd 85' Hi-Level Step Down 68-Seat Coach w/Tail Sign #528-537
Budd 85' Hi-Level Step Down 68-Seat Coach w/Tail Sign #528-537 May 2012
Job #9679-166

Click Here to browse all of Walthers available Name Trains on our Name Train homepage.

 

Photos

El Capitan

Hi-Level Step Down Coach with Tailsign - 932-9761
These photos are all pre-production of first test shot samples. That explains why some of the details like the grills are missing. Although it's hard to see from this angle, the interior of the Hi-Level Step Down Coach with Tailsign actually has a different seating configuration than the front-end version. That is to keep all the seats in both cars facing forward on the consist.

El Capitan

Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car - 932-9750
This photo of our Transition Baggage first test shot shows the transition scoop and antenna. Notice, the diaphragm is standard height as it links up with the front of the Step Down Coach. Another tell-tale spotting feature shows where the windows in the dormitory section stop and the right side is the secured baggage section begins. There is an interior door connecting the two sections, but it is always locked when the cars are in use.

El Capitan

Hi-Level Step Down Coach - 932-9760
This photo of the pre-production Step Down Coach shows the opposite side of the car. Note the Hi-Level diaphragm on this end of the car. Again, the grills are absent in this first test shot sample. Notice, the seats in this car are facing “forward” toward the head-end of the train, opposite as seen in the last photo. Although not apparent in these photos all gasket details are present on the model, and will be detailed either black or aluminum as appropriate to the prototype.

El Capitan

Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car - 932-9750
Here is the opposite view of the car taken from the baggage end.

El Capitan

Hi-Level Step Down Coach - 932-9760
This second photo of the Step Down Coach shows the side profile as it would often be seen by railfans.

El Capitan

Baggage-Dormitory Transition Car - 932-9750
The brake end of the Baggage-Dorm Transition car which shows the higher profile transition end and diaphragm that would lead to the Step Down Coach.

El Capitan

Hi-Level Step Down Coach with Tailsign - 932-9761
On our final pre-production model picture we're focusing on the tailsign end of the Step Down Coach. Here you can see the detail on the electrical conduit, the end gate, and the drumhead. At the top of the drumhead, seen clear in this picture, is the rear end marker light. When the design is finished and printed, the drumhead will be translucent and ready for lighting.

El Capitan

Hi-Level 72-Seat Coach - 932-9770
Here the first test shot of the 72-Seat Coach again shows the sides and end of the car with the grills absent. There are subtle differences between this car and the Step Down Coach. Notice there is no intake grill on the far right end seen in this photo - a change between the two coaches.

El Capitan

Hi-Level Step Down Coach and 72-Seat Coach - 932-9760, 9761, 9770
This photo shows the “B” end of all three coach types. Shown here are the exhaust stack and junction box details.

 
 


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