Santa Fe 3751 Los Angeles to Chicago - Greg Scholl
In September 1992, Santa Fe 4-8-4 number 3751 makes an historic trip from Los Angeles, California to Chicago, Illinois following the transcontinental mainline 2300 miles. This was the first time the 3751 had been west of California since the steam era service, and even now it is the longest venture for 3751 since its 1991 restoration. The trip to Chicago was an employee recognition special, and not a public excursion train. The trip marked the first time a Santa Fe steam engine was seen in most of these locations. We were the only company to have two camera crews for most of the journey(Needles to Topeka), and it paid off with one capturing most of the departures while the other would set-up at selected prominent locations such as the Colorado River Bridge, Abo Canyon, and so forth. With water a problem in the desert regions, 3751 had diesel assistance and once up to speed the train was tough to keep up with. You'll see great action as 3751 starts the train from places like Needles, Seligman, Winslow, and see famous locations such as passing over the Grand Canyon Railroad with a GC steamer below.
There is fast action too with 70 mile and hour runbys, and meets with freight trains. At Topeka, 3751 visited Topeka Railroad days along with Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 #3985. Then the trip continues with the run to Chicago terminating at the Santa Fe freight yard. This is big time steam and southwestern scenery on a marathon trip that is not likely to be repeated anytime soon.