Santa Fe class 3460

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ATSF 3460 class
Santa Fe 3460 Baldwin.jpg
ATSF 3460, the “Blue Goose”
Type and origin
Power typeSteam
BuilderBaldwin Locomotive Works
Build date1937
Total produced6
 • Whyte4-6-4
 • UIC2′C2′ h
Gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Leading dia.37 in (940 mm)
Driver dia.84 in (2,134 mm)
Trailing dia.40 in (1,016 mm)
WheelbaseLoco: 41 ft 1 12 in (12.53 m)
LengthLoco: 54 ft 3 34 in (16.55 m);
Loco & tender: 112 ft 7 in (34.32 m)
Width10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
Height16 ft 8 in (5.08 m) over raised stack extension
Adhesive weight211,400 lb (95,900 kilograms; 95.9 metric tons)
Loco weight412,330 lb (187,030 kilograms; 187.03 metric tons)
Total weight808,670 lb (366,810 kilograms; 366.81 metric tons)
Fuel typeOil
Fuel capacity7,000 US gal (26,000 l; 5,800 imp gal)
Water cap20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal)
Tender cap.7,000 US gal (26,000 l; 5,800 imp gal) oil, 20,000 US gal (76,000 l; 17,000 imp gal) water
 • Firegrate area
99.5 sq ft (9.24 m2)
Boiler pressure300 lbf/in2 (2.07 MPa)
CylindersTwo, outside
Cylinder size23.5 in × 29.5 in (597 mm × 749 mm)
Valve gearWalschaerts
Valve typePiston valves
Performance figures
Tractive effort48,618 lbf (216.3 kN)
Factor of adh.4.29
OperatorsAtchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
Class3460 class
Preserved3463, in Topeka, Kansas
DispositionOne preserved, remainder scrapped

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway's 3460 class comprised six 4-6-4 "Hudson" type steam locomotives built in 1937 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for service between La Junta, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois, a fairly flat division of the railroad suited for the 4-6-4 type. They were substantially larger than the road's earlier 3450 class locomotives, and all were built oil-fired, although in a manner that would allow for easy conversion to coal firing.

They had much in common with the Milwaukee Road's class F7 and the Chicago and North Western Railway's class E-4, all three types being fast, 84-inch drivered 4-6-4s for Midwestern service with 300 lb/in² boiler pressures.

In December 1937, locomotive #3461 set a world record for the longest single run by a steam locomotive by completing the 2,227 miles (3,584 km) from Los Angeles, California to Chicago without maintenance other than five refuelling stops en route, hauling Train #8, the Fast Mail Express. An average speed of 45 mph (72 km/h) was obtained, including stops; maximum speed during the run was 90 mph (140 km/h). During steeply graded portions of the run it was, of course, assisted by helper locomotives. Such long distance runs were a goal of railway operating departments, enabling a reduction in locomotive numbers and through increased locomotive utilization, reduce overall costs.

The first locomotive, #3460, was built streamlined; painted light, robin's egg blue and silver, it became known as the "Blue Goose". It was the Santa Fe's only streamlined steam locomotive, featuring extensively in railroad publicity and was a railfan favorite.

Locomotive #3461 was fitted with a streamlined "skyline" casing along the top of the boiler, encasing stack and domes, in an experiment to see if it helped clear smoke away from the locomotive. It was not retained. All of the locomotives otherwise had a Santa Fe-style telescoping stack extension fitted, which elongated the stack to clear smoke better and could be lowered to pass under low bridges and tunnels.

The 3460 class 4-6-4s, the 3765 class 4-8-4s, and the 5001 class 2-10-4s were designed and ordered around the same time and had much in common in their designs; in addition, they used the same six-axle tender design. The classes together were often called the "Big Three".

Only one of this class survives, #3463, on static display on the grounds to the Southeast of the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka, Kansas.


  • Westcott, Linn H. (1960). Model Railroader Cyclopedia - Volume 1: Steam Locomotives. Kalmbach Books. ISBN 0-89024-001-9.
  • Barris, Wes. "Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Hudsons". Archived from the original on 7 March 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-22.
  • Glischinski, Steve (1997). Santa Fe Railway. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International. ISBN 978-0-7603-0380-1.