N Scale North American Passenger Cars

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The Santa Fe El Capitan

Prototype Information:

The Santa Fe “El Capitan” offered coach travel between Chicago and Los Angeles using hi-level coaches along with a diner and lounge, its double decker hi-level cars providing a greater passenger capacity than traditional single-level trains. The El Capitan was revolutionary in that it offered excellent service and a train schedule that matched the speed of first class sleeper trains such as the "Super Chief" while remaining affordable to the every-day passenger. In fact, in January 1958 the "El Capitan" and "Super Chief" trains were consolidated to run together, though in peak traffic times such as Chrismas or the summer months the two would still keep separate train schedules to accomodate the increased ridership.

Based off of the C&NW Bi-Level commuter cars, the El Capitan Hi-Level cars were the first of their kind to be used in long distance service, pioneering the concept of affordable, reliable service and providing the basis for today's modern Amtrak fleets (the Amtrak Superliners were, in fact, built off the design of the original Santa Fe Hi-Level coaches and many Santa Fe cars ran alongside Superliners in the early days of Amtrak).


Click to enlarge

Feature video:

In the late 50's, the Santa Fe would run the Super Chief and El Capitan as a combined train, with consists that could vary but were often upwards of 18-20 cars. Kato USA has put together a small video presentation featuring this combined consist, as accurately reproduced using cars from both of the classic name train series sets and their supporting add-on packs of cars. Click the image to the left or HERE to visit Kato USA's youtube page and see this train in motion!

Passenger Car Features:

  • All new tooling for cars, including the Baggage-Dormitory visual transition car and the step-down coach car.
  • Tail-end coach has illuminated marker lights and light-up "El Capitan" conquistador Drumhead.
  • Each car is equipped with low flange wheels, KATO magnetic knuckle couplers and shock absorber construction for smooth and reliable operation.
  • Colored interior piece to more closely match the prototypes.
  • Can be paired up with the Santa Fe Super Chief to replicate post-1958 combination trains.
  • Interior of cars can be lighted with optional installation of #11-211/212 Interior Light Kit with White LED.

Set Information :

Stock # Description Road # MSRP
176-1109
EMD F3A Santa Fe Warbonnet 19
$85
176-1110
EMD F3A Santa Fe Warbonnet 19C
$85
176-1111
EMD F3B Santa Fe Warbonnet --
$85
106-077
Santa Fe El Capitan (2012 release)
10 Car Set
Baggage-Dormitory 3478
$280
Step Down Coach 537
Coach 724
Coach 710
Diner 654
Lounge 579
Coach 713
Coach 722
Step Down Coach 531
Baggage 3534
106-7116
Santa Fe El Capitan (2012 Release)
2 Car Set
Storage Mail 3500
$55
Coach 701
106-075
Santa Fe El Capitan (2009 Release)
10 Car Set
Baggage-Dormitory 3477
$250
Step Down Coach 528
Coach 700
Coach 704
Diner 652
Lounge 576
Coach 716
Coach 719
Step Down Coach 532
Baggage 3513
106-7115
Santa Fe El Capitan (2009 Release)
2 Car Set
Storage Mail 3527
$50
Coach 723
Kato USA, Inc. 100 Remington Road Schaumburg, IL 60173