Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox SGRailroad The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Template:Reporting mark, often abbreviated as Santa Fe, was one of the largest railroads in the United States. The company was first chartered in February 1859. The Santa Fe's tracks reached the Kansas/Colorado state line in 1873, and connected to Pueblo, Colorado in 1876. In order to help fuel the railroad's profitability, the Santa Fe set up real estate offices and sold farm land from the land grants that the railroad was awarded by Congress; these new farms would create a demand for transportation (both freight and passenger service) that was, quite conveniently, offered by the Santa Fe.



Startup and initial growth

The railroad's charter, written single-handedly by Cyrus K. Holliday in January 1859, was approved by the state's governor on February 11 of that year as the Atchison and Topeka Railroad Company for the purpose of building a rail line from Topeka, Kansas to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and then on to the Gulf of Mexico. On May 3, 1863 the railroad changed names to more closely match the aspirations of its founder to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. The railroad broke ground in Topeka on October 30, 1868 and started building westward where one of the first construction tasks was to cross the Kaw River. The first section of track opened on April 26, 1869 (less than a month prior to completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad) with special trains between Topeka and Pauline. The distance was only 6 miles (10 km), but the Wakarusa Picnic Special train took passengers over the route for celebration in Pauline.

Crews continued working westward, reaching Dodge City in 1871. With this connection, the Santa Fe was able to compete for cattle transportation with the Kansas Pacific Railway. Construction continued, and the Santa Fe opened the last section of track between Topeka and the Colorado/Kansas border on December 23 1873. The Santa Fe's tracks reached Pueblo, Colorado on March 1 1876. Serving Pueblo opened a number of new freight opportunities for the railroad as it now could haul coal from Colorado eastward.

Missing image
An ATSF passenger train in operation circa 1895.

Building across Kansas and eastern Colorado may have been technologically simple as there weren't many large natural obstacles in the way (certainly not as many as the railroad was about to encounter further west), but the Santa Fe found it almost economically impossible because of the sparse population in the area. To combat this problem, the Santa Fe set up real estate offices in the area and vigorously promoted settlement across Kansas on the land that was granted to the railroad by Congress in 1863. The Santa Fe offered discounted passenger fares to anyone who travelled west on the railroad to inspect the land; if the land was subsequently purchased by the traveller, the railroad applied the passenger's ticket price toward the sale of the land.

Now that the railroad had built across the plains and had a customer base providing income for the firm, it was time for the railroad to tackle the difficult terrain of the Rocky Mountains.

Crossing the Rockies, competition with the Rio Grande

Expansion through mergers

The failed SPSF merger

Merger into BNSF

Company officers

Presidents of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway:

Paint schemes & markings

Steam locomotives

Missing image
Santa Fe #3751, a restored 4-8-4 originally built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1927, passes through San Bernardino in January, 1999.

Diesel locomotives, freight

Diesel locomotives used in freight service (with the exception of streamlined units) between 1934 and 1960 were painted black, with a thin white or silver accent stripe and diagonal white or silver stripes painted on the ends and cab sides to increase the visibility at grade crossings (typically referred to as the Zebra Stripe scheme). The letters "A.T.S.F." were applied in a small font to the sides of the unit just above the accent stripe, with the standard blue and white "Santa Fe" logo below.

The years 1960 to 1972 saw non-streamlined freight locomotives sporting the Billboard color scheme wherein the units were predominately dark blue with yellow ends and trim, with a single yellow accent stripe. The words "Santa Fe" were applied in yellow in a large serif font to the sides of the locomotive below the accent stripe (save for yard switchers which displayed the "Santa Fe" in small yellow letters above the accent stripe, somewhat akin to the Zebra Stripe arrangement).

From 1972 to 1996, and even on into the BNSF era, the company adopted a new paint scheme often known among railfans as the Yellowbonnet which placed more yellow on the locomotives, again creating greater visibility at grade crossings. The truck assemblies, previously colored black, now received silver paint.

Several experimental and commemorative paint schemes emerged during the Santa Fe's diesel era. One combination was developed and partially implemented in anticipation of a merger between the parent companies of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific (SP) railroads in 1984. The red, yellow and black paint scheme (with large red block letters "SF" on the sides and ends of the units) of the proposed Southern Pacific Santa Fe Railroad (SPSF) has come to be somewhat derisively known among railfans as the Kodachrome livery due to the similarity in colors to the boxes containing slide film sold by the Eastman Kodak Company under the same name (Kodachrome film was one of the preferred brands in use by railfans). A common joke among railfans is that "SPSF" really stands for "Shouldn't Paint So Fast." Though the merger application was subsequently denied by the ICC, locomotives bearing this color scheme can still be found occasionally in lease service.

Diesel locomotives, passenger

Missing image
The combined Super Chief / El Capitan, led by locomotive #44C (an EMD F7 sporting Santa Fe's classic Warbonnet paint scheme) pulls into Track 10 at Los Angeles' Union Passenger Terminal (LAUPT) on September 24, 1966.

Rolling stock, freight

Rolling stock, passenger


See also

External links

Template:US class 1de:Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway


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