| With success in the RoadRailer field with
Triple Crown Service, Wabash National looked for other ways to adapt its RoadRailer technology to other types
One of the most innovative concepts was the AutoRailer. It is a RoadRailer-like trailer that
is a special 53' ultra-high-cube van designed specifically for the automotive industry. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, always looking for
innovative ideas, took delivery of five of these special Wabash trailers, numbered them SFTZ #460000 to SFTZ #460001,
and had them painted in the new "SuperFleet" paint scheme, which was also being applied to the new safety cab locomotives
Santa Fe was buying from General Motors and General Electric.
Santa Fe's AutoRailers were assigned in revenue service to the train designated the
V-SDGRIC, which ran between San Diego, CA and Richmond, CA, from late 1997 to early 1998. The train's job was
to transport automobiles, Hondas, to Richmond from San Diego, and although it was never finalized, to bring
Toyotas from Richmond to San Diego. The AutoRailers were used for a while, however the traffic to support additional trailer
purchases never materialized, and so the trailers spent their lives being placed at different parts of the system, now
the vast Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway. A public trace, available from BNSF's computers, done in July 1999,
reported the trailers to be Naperville, IL:
SFTZ 460000 - Naperville, IL
SFTZ 460001 - Naperville, IL
SFTZ 460002 - Naperville, IL - in use by Trucker RWCK
SFTZ 460003 - Chicago, IL - in use by Trucker BNSF
SFTZ 460004 - Naperville, IL - in use by Trucker RWCK
The trailers were eventually sold to Honda, and the company currently uses the
trailers for automotive operations in Mexico.
For additional prototype information, as well as measurements, please
visit Wabash National's
official AutoRailer page.