National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: September 27, 2013

National Archives at Kansas City

Chris Cruz to Discuss How Fred Harvey's Concepts Changed the Railroad Dining Industry

For More Information Contact:
Kimberlee Ried, 816-268-8072

Kansas City, (MO)…On Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives at Kansas City will host Chris Cruz for a lecture titled How Fred Harvey’s Concepts Changed the Railroad Dining Industry. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the lecture. This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the America West.

Chris Cruz, collector and railroad historian, has written several articles concentrating on artifacts and railroad history. His interest in the Santa Fe led to collecting Fred Harvey artifacts and researching the Harvey Company history. Although Fred Harvey is best known for establishing his concept for meals and service along the Santa Fe, his influence impacted other railroads who worked to compete with the Harvey operation. Most notable in this effort includes the Rock Island, the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, and several lesser known operations and News Services that were contracted by the railroads. Cruz will discuss these operations and display some of their artifacts. Fred Harvey revolutionized the rail dining industry and the public demanded higher expectations from other rail lines. This discussion will focus on these changes.

To make a reservation for this free event call 816-268-8010 or email

About the Speaker

Chris Cruz grew up in a railroad family and worked on the Katy Railroad for a short time while earning his music education degree from Pittsburg State University. Cruz worked as a staff writer and music reviewer for the Pittsburg State University Collegio. While teaching public school he became interested in the Katy band that once existed in Parsons. After writing an article about the Katy band, published by the Katy Railroad Historical Society, his interest in railroad history and artifacts soon began. Since then Cruz has collected various railroadiana and attended numerous shows to buy and sell. He continues to research Katy history and publishes articles on the topic, and he is a past president of the Katy Railroad Historical Society. He also writes articles, primarily for the Railroadiana Collectors Association Inc., on railroad artifacts. As a performing musician he has played in several musical organizations from orchestras to rock and roll. Cruz has been inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame with his rock band, the Sensational Showmen, and is also a member of the legendary Red Dogs.

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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