By Bryant Booth
The RENFE 2-10-2 “Sante Fe” Locomotive
(Photos courtesy of Marco Van Uden (left) and Antonio Martínez Valcárcel (right))
The Spanish “Sante Fa” 2-10-2, Series 151F locomotive was one of the most powerful steam locomotive of its time in Europe. Initially ordered by the Compañía del Norte (Northern Railways of Spain), 22 units were built between 1941 and 1944 in La Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima (The Land and Marine Machine) factory in Barcelona and operated after the nationalization of Spain’s railways by the Spanish National Railway Network “RENFE” (Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles.) The locomotives were intended for hauling heavy coal trains in Spain’s rugged northwest. They measured 35.8 meters (nearly 120 feet) in overall length and had a gross weight of 200 tons. Spanish railways were broad gauge (5 ft. 6 in.,) which lead to a wide-bodied, massive looking steam engine. The locomotives were withdrawn from service in 1969 and one, Santa Fe 5001,151-3101, is preserved at the Railroad Museum of Vilanova (about 24 miles south of Barcelona.)
PAYÁ’s “Sante Fe” 0 Gauge Locomotive
In 1944, while war raged towards a climax and ravaged the rest of Europe, the Spanish toy company PAYÁ produced an 0 gauge model of this locomotive and also called it the “Santa Fe.” However, to allow the locomotive to negotiate the tinplate curves, PAYÁ produced a 2-6-2 vice a 2-10-2. The PAYÁ “Santa Fe,” however, portrayed the prototype well and with smoke deflectors, sprung buffers, red wheels, a mechanism to puff smoke, a unique covered tender, and measuring 18.5 inches in length, was an impressive tinplate locomotive for the time. Indeed the Santa Fe model represented the pinnacle of PAYÁ's toy train production. When forty years later, in 1986, the model locomotive was reproduced and marketed in the United States for several years, the “Santa Fe” model locomotive served as an introduction to Spanish toy trains for many toy train enthusiasts who knew little of the history of Spanish toys and trains.
The purpose of this article is to briefly review the history of this Spanish producer of tinplate ‘0’ gauge trains, highlighting these reproductions of the late 1980’s that many of us acquired.
Click on the links below to view the individual sections of my article:
History and Background
Table: PAYA’s Reproduction Program of the late 1980s
References and Acknowledgements
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