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I am putting together a 1953 Santa Fe Fast Mail train in three rail and looking for some guidance.  Based on some online research I have learned that the train consisted of express boxcars, baggage cars, RPOs, and of course the obligatory rider coach at the rear to qualify the train as a passenger train. 

I need to track down around seven more Santa Fe baggage cars to fill out the balance of the train and two additional express boxcars.  My question mainly relates to the boxcars.  From what I have read, ATSF Fe24 50' double door boxcars in green and grey paint were assigned to express service.  However, were the oxide red boxcars of the same class used?   What other boxcars could be found in the consist?  What are some good references on this train to try and give the train a more authentic feel?  I am not totally concerned with prototype fidelity, but mainly interested in learning more and making a "close enough" train.  My goal is to get the train to the listed maximum of 33 cars from what I've read.  So far my boxcars are a combination of Pecos River and Lionel cars, while the other cars are Lionel, K-Line, Weaver, MTH, and GGD. 

I have all the listed offline cars with the PRR baggage and express reefer, the Erie express boxcar, and NYC baggage cars as far as I can tell.  Did REA express cars also run in this consist?  When traffic was busy was there more than one car for fee paying passengers?  My intended power will be Sunset PAs or likely my E6 AB set even if that is not exactly prototypical.  It is what I have.  I know the prototype ran with either PA's or F3s and F7s. 

Photos and a video when I pull my current train together, but looking for additional information for now.

Thank you! 

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This is a pretty good resource for Fast Mail consists:

http://santafe.gmbus.com/

Only the green and gold ATSF Express boxcars were used on the Fast Mail. The red oxide cars were strictly in the freight pool. The Pecos River car is a good representation (I've got a couple). Otherwise any mail/express/baggage/RPO is fine in the consist. The Fast Mail frequently ran with eastern road (PRR, NYC, & B&O) cars, both boxcars and baggage cars, in the consist. Last car was always an ATSF "rider car", which was a heavyweight combine with markers on the rear.

The Fast Mail I run on my layout usually consists of:

Pecos River ATSF Express boxcar

Pecos River ATSF Express boxcar

Weaver ATSF Express boxcar

MTH ATSF Express refrigerator

Atlas ATSF baggage car

Atlas ATSF RPO

Atlas ATSF baggage car

Atlas ATSF combine

I usually run the Fast Mail with one of my ATSF 3460 class Hudsons, but any ATSF Hudson, Northern, Passenger F3/F7, or PA is fine. E3/E6 and DL109s could also be used, but that would be before they were bumped from the transcon pool by the arrival of F units and PAs in the late 40s.

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