The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad bought this “chemical car” as a quick response rig to attack grass fires along the train tracks near its San Bernardino, California yards. A rig like this is designed to get to a fire in its earliest stages and get its 40 gallons of water (propelled by carbon dioxide gas) into action while the fire is small. It can also carry over a thousand feet of large diameter 2 ½ inch hose, which could be used by another fire engine, or which could be connected to a hydrant. Apparently, there were very few grass fires, since this truck has less than 170 miles on its odometer. The poor condition of the hard rubber tires resulted from the long hours spent exposed to the California sun.
The Santa Fe Railroad restored the rig during the 1950s, possibly for advertising, and moved it to Topeka, Kansas.
Mr. Getz, a long – time board member of the Santa Fe, purchased it in 1970 from the railroad and later donated it to the Hall of Flame.