Time has a way of fogging things and a train, even a great and famous train, can be obscured in the haze of years gone by.
Surveys show that many of today’s readers – airliner and automobile oriented – have only vague impressions of older trains; in many instances, they are all but unaware of what they looked like. Few, if any, of those readers have ever been on a train, least of all, one that ran over forty years ago.
The author is cognizant of this lack of familiarity and so it is that he offers, for inspection, earnestly and affectionately,the legendary Super Chief. May this meeting of reader and train be easy, unhurried, and, most assuredly, worthwhile.
Stan Repp was, at one time, called, much to his pleasure, a “one-man latter-day promotion team” for the Super Chief. In accepting that devotive laurel wreath, he is mindful of the responsibility that goes with the accolade, and accordingly, presents this book as his best effort at time-laps recollection in revealing a Great American Train of the past . . . the Santa Fe Railway’s Super Chief.
Meet Author Stan Repp
Stan Repp was born in 1919 on a mid-November morning in Buffalo, New York, and from the tenderest age, admired, been intrigued by, and just plain reveled in railway passenger cars and the people who rode in them.
He frequented and found fascination in coach yards, commissaries, supply rooms, pain shops, designers’ studios, Pullman-Dining-Lounge cars (peopled and deserted), Diesel cabs and repair tracks, engineers’ homes, sooty depots, back-country crossings, and best of all, trips aboard the Super Chief.
Thirty-five years as an illustrator, Repp sketched and painted trains favoring those eminently appealing accommodations, observation cars, and, of course, the variety of name-signs which adorned them.
A Californian since 1936, Repp, who lives by the sea, laments the passing of the gentler and less contrived times, misses real trains, and is glad, as are many old-timers, that he was around in the halcyon days of the passenger cars, most prominently, most remarkably, and most memorably those which comprised the first lightweight Super Chief.