Santa Fe Snack Car

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway

Clerestory Roof Passenger Car

Built by:

Pullman Company – 1928


70 Feet

Donated by:

Santa Fe Railway – 1956


Car 3355 at the Santa Fe's Los Angeles Coach Yards at the time of its donation to Travel Town in 1956.

This Santa Fe Railway car is typical of thousands of steel passenger cars built during the first part of the 20th Century.  The car features a “clerestory roof” – the broad hump along the center of the roof, fenestrated with transom vents to help ventilate the car’s non-air conditioned interior.  
Car 3355 was originally built as an 80-seat coach or “chair car” for generic passenger train service.  In 1948, Santa Fe converted 3355 into a “Snack Car” for use on special trains to and from the Del Mar Race Track during the annual horse racing season.  The car served passengers between Los Angeles and San Diego until 1956 – when the lunch counter and other food service equipment was moved to an air-conditioned car and the empty 3355 donated to Travel Town to house an exhibit of H.O. model trains installed by Revell, Inc..

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More Interesting Information:

Vocabulary: Fenestrated
This is an architectural term that means “having windows or openings.”   It comes comes from the Latin word fenestra that means “window” and the Latin word fenestrāre, which means “to furnish with windows”.

Vocabulary: Clerestory
This is an architectural term that applies to a series of window openings placed high in a room to provide a source of sunlight and/or air circulation.  The practice goes back to the temples of ancient Egypt and were common in Greek, Roman and Gothic buildings.  The idea was adopted in early railroad car design as well, again to help provide additional sunlight and air circulation to the inside of the cars.