Santa Fe Business Car 404
Donated to TTM by Dr. Neil Boldrick
Santa Fe 404 business car in Topeka, Kansas, 1964


Railroad business cars, later renamed work cars, were the ultimate badge of distinction for superintendents who were the highest ranking local railroad company officials in their districts which covered many hundreds of square miles. These cars allowed them and their staff to go on tours of inspection of their districts. Various pieces of equipment were installed to facilitate checking the condition of the tracks and the performance of the train as it went along. The cars also enabled them to take local dignitaries, including elected officials, along for the ride. This was considered a very special privilege and was much appreciated. Private railroad cars, of which these are the equivalent except for the most affluent trappings, were the signature prestige vehicles of their day, the equivalent of modern, luxury appointed private jets. While business cars were expensive to buy, operate and maintain, even in the 1920s, in those days of bad roads and few aircraft, they made a great deal of sense.
Blue Prints and Picture of the 404 in Cleburne, Texas
Santa Fe Business car 400 plan.
Santa Fe Business car 400 plan detail.
Santa Fe business car 404 in Cleburne, Texas.
Santa Fe Business Car 404 in Topeka, Kansas circa 1964
Santa Fe business railroad car 404, Topeka, Kansas, 1964.
Santa Fe business railroad car 404 in Topeka, Kansas.
Santa Fe business railroad car 404 in Topeka, Kansas.
Santa Fe business railroad car 404 in Topeka, Kansas.
Santa Fe business railroad car 404 in the late 1960s
The '404' is one of the first significant pieces to be acquired by TTM.. It was donated by Neil Boldrick and arrived on August 15th, 1979. It is a 60 foot long, 60 ton, Business Car. It is one of 17 such cars built by the Pullman Company on plan 4977, and was delivered to the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad on January 26, 1926. It was assigned to the Superintendent of AT & SF's Eastern Lines, Eastern Division whose headquarters were located in the second floor of the depot at Emporia, Kansas. The AT & SF, Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, is now part of the BNSF, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
Santa Fe 404 business car over the years at TTM
The Santa Fe Business car 404 just after it arrived at the museum.
View of the Santa Fe Business car 404 near our historic depot.
Santa Fe business railroad car 404 at the Texas Transportation Museum.
All aboard the Santa Fe Business car 404.
1926 Santa Fe business car 404.
Both the Santa Fe Business car 404 and Pullman sleeper car McKeever had A/C added during refurbishment during their railroad service. The different roof lines indicate that the delivery methods varied in each.
The Longhorn & Western train passing the static display consisting of the Santa Fe Business car 404, the Pullman sleeper car McKeever and a 1911 Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive and tender.
The Longhorn & Western train passing the static display consisting of the Santa Fe Business car 404, the Pullman sleeper car McKeever and a 1911 Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive and tender.
The arrival of the 404 was a red letter day at TTM. After the old depot from Converse, it is one of the museum's most significant acquisitions. The McKeever would not arrive until four years later, and #6, or 1911 Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive, which makes u the front end of the railroad static display, which is now the focal point of the museum, for another few years after that.
Santa Fe Business Car 404 exterior restoration, November 2016
Old paint being sand-blasted off Santa Fe Business Car 404, November 2016
Old paint removed from Santa Fe Business Car 404, November 2016
Santa Fe Business Car 404 during the repainting process, November 2016
Santa Fe Business Car 404 during the repainting process, November 2016
New lettering applied to the the Santa Fe Business Car 404 business car, November 2016
New lettering applied to the the Santa Fe Business Car 404 business car, November 2016
The project to restore the exterior of the Santa Fe 404 Buisness Car was completed in November 2016 thanks to geneorus donations made by Mission Pharmacal and Southwestern Motor Transport. The Texas Transportation Museum is deeply appreciative of their assistance towards presering this historically significant railroad car for the future.
TTM thanks Mission Pharmacal and Southwestern Motor Transport for their generous donations towards the exterior restoration of the 404 in 2016
     
Previous exterior work on the Santa Fe Business Car 404
Painting the roof of the Santa Fe Business car 404, not long after its arrival. Note the canvas weather barrier.
Repainting the Santa Fe Business car 404 in the mid 1990s
Santa Fe business car 404 in the finishing stages of an earlier restoration in the 1990s
Some exterior work being performed on the Santa Fe Business car 404, in 2002.
Repairing the sides of the Santa Fe Business car 404 in 2014
Maintaining the Santa Fe 404 business car in optimal condition both inside and out takes more than a little effort, as you can see from the images above.
Interior images of the Santa Fe 404 business
Santa Fe Business car 404 rear vestibule.
Santa Fe Business car 404 speed and air pressure dials.
Santa Fe Business car 404 bathroom complete with shower
Santa Fe Business car 404 state room #2
Santa Fe Business car 404 hallway.
Passageway light.
The Santa Fe Business car 404 office / dining area.
The Santa Fe Business car 404 office / dining area.
Restored interior fan in the Santa Fe Business car 404.
Santa Fe Business car 404 porter's room.
Santa Fe Business car 404 Kitchen.
Santa Fe Business car 404 Kitchen Range.
The car is well maintained and is still capable of being moved as part of a train. This was done most recently for a public television documentary where a scene was also shot of a meeting held in the office/dining area. The car continues to receive a lot of care and attention. It's exterior, including the roof and trucks, was painted in the mid 1990s and again in 2016. All the car's windows have been repaired or replaced over the years. The work is mainly done by volunteers but with the generous assistance of local companies especially Mission Pharmacal and Southwestern Motor Transport in 2016.
Help preserve the Santa Fe Business Car 404

TTM always needs more help to maintain our exhibits in the best condition. Most of the preservation work is done by volunteers on an ongoing basis. Your assistance would be most appreciated, so come join us! And, if you are in a position to make a monetary donation so we can hire professionals when needed, that would be wonderful, too. Please see the section following for details on how to do this.
TTM is a registered 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax deductible

To make a donation, please send a check payable to TTM to:

Texas Transportation Museum
McKeever / 404 Restoration
11731 Wetmore Road
San Antonio TX 78247


For more information, please call (210) 490-3554 or (210) 394-0483.

Santa Fe 404 business car 401
Santa Fe Business car 401 in Seguin. A track used to go down here. The main line is maybe a half mile away.
Santa Fe business car 401. Interestingly this is the site after it was cleared.
Santa Fe business car 401. The car was recently sealed up, again.
Santa Fe business car 401. This car is privately owned. The car was open for a long time and is totally trashed on the inside.
Santa Fe business car 401 at the ZDT Amusement Park in 2010
Santa Fe Business Car 401 has not been quite so lucky but even its prospects are looking up. For a long time it was privately owned and stuck in Seguin. The spur track that once served the siding was long gone, with a business located where the tracks used to run, although the rails set into the road are still there. The car was all but abandoned and was used, like so much derelict railroad equipment, by vagrants as sleeping quarters. The City of Seguin was keen to rid itself of this eye sore. The area itself has been significantly improved. It was offered to the TTM but we were obliged to decline, as we did not have the money to move or restore it. The fantastic news is that it has been saved and can now be found at the ZDT Amusement Park in Seguin. The snap below was taken in 2010. Its appearance may have been significantly improved since then. Our understanding it is to be used as a party room of some kind.

 

TTM is a registered 501(c)(3) charity
11731 Wetmore Road
San Antonio, Texas 78247
(210) 490-3554
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