Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (AT & SF ATSF ), short Santa Fe, was an American railroad company. Office of the company was last Schaumburg (Illinois), before to 1991 Chicago. The ATSF was not only active in rail transport, but also operated a fleet of tugs and ship the short-lived Santa Fe Skyway airline. About bus routes were opened up areas that were not accessible by train, also ferries were operated in the Bay of San Francisco, who made the long-haul travelers complete their journey to the Pacific. The company merged in 1995 with the Burlington Northern ( BN ) for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Route network

The ATSF had one of the largest rail networks in the United States. Core of the network was the main route from Topeka on Albuquerque to San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego, which even today is down to a short distance into Kansas in operation. Despite the name, the main line is not led through Santa Fe, but tied the city only through a branch line from Lamy. In California's Tehachapi Mountains, the main line was broken, the Tehachapi Loop of the Southern Pacific Railroad was instead shared. Other main routes led to Denver, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Kansas City and Chicago. An extensive network of branch lines consisted mainly in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and California. 1929 included the net 13,157 miles. In 1970, there were 12,881 miles, which consisted of 21,472 miles of track. 1994 included the route network still 7800 miles.


The oldest predecessor company Atchison and Topeka Railroad was founded in January 1859 by Cyrus K. Holliday, to connect these two cities. 1863 "Santa Fe" was added to the company name because this city should also be connected to the rail network. Construction on the route leading to the southwest began in Topeka on October 30, 1868 where the Kansas River had to be crossed in a first major step. The first only 6 miles (10 km) long section from Topeka to Pauline, was opened less than a month before completion of the first transcontinental route, on 26 April 1869 Wakarusa Creek Picnic Special train the Special. On September 5, 1872 Dodge City was achieved, making it possible to compete in livestock transport with the Kansas Pacific Railway. On December 23, 1873, the border between Kansas and Colorado has been reached. The company built further west, but not in the direction of Santa Fe, but to Pueblo (Colorado ), which was reached on 1 March 1876. From now on coal could be transported from Colorado to the east. The track construction in Kansas and eastern Colorado may have been simple, but not economical to operate due to the low population density without additional measures in the absence of a significant natural barriers. The Santa Fe built real estate offices and applied for the settlement on the land that was allocated in 1863 by the Congress. Interested parties who traveled westward to explore the country, received discounted train tickets. Once people were settled in the prairie, there was an economic foundation to build further west to the Rocky Mountains.

With the onset of silver was discovered in Leadville offered to the Company for the first time to a promising benefits rail link to the mountains. Those responsible for William Barstow Strong realized that from the supplies to the mine sites in Colorado and northern New Mexico was hit by food and equipment capital. The course should lead westward from Pueblo along the Arkansas River and through the narrow Royal Gorge. From 1878 on, however, was first built back in the direction of Santa Fe. The track chain in La Junta of those from Pueblo to Trinidad and led over the Raton Pass. This led to a partly armed contest with the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, which the ATSF decided for themselves. The simultaneous competition for the route through the Royal Gorge she lost, but got through a settlement agreement dated March 27, 1880 for the work done so far in the canyon a compensation payment of $ 1.4 million and route rights awarded. 1880 Albuquerque was reached, Santa Fe, however, allowed for topographical reasons outside before. 1881 took place in Deming (New Mexico) to connect to the Southern Pacific Railroad, which led coming to Los Angeles from El Paso and became the second transcontinental connection. From Deming Streckenbau about Benson (Arizona ) was advanced to the Mexican border at Nogales, where connection was to the subsidiary Sonora Railway to the port of Guaymas on the Gulf of California. Ultimately shall be stated that a main line of Dodge City would be further south have been cheaper by the Plains as the chosen route over the Raton Pass. However, hostile Indians and lack of water along the southern route and the coal fields in Trinidad and Raton favored the decision for the northern route of the Santa Fe Trail.

From 1880, the ATSF operation together with the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway ( Frisco ) the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, which in 1883 established the connection to Needles on the Colorado River. There was an additional connection to the Southern Pacific, which had just been built by its main line at Mojave cross-connection north of Los Angeles. In 1885, the subsidiary California Southern manufactures a line of San Diego over San Bernardino and the Cajon Pass to Barstow and the end of the decade, with the connection of Los Angeles, the main line of the ATSF later - though still under different ownership - complete.

On 3 March 1886, the ATSF merged with the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway ( GCSF ), which operated a large network in Texas and a branch line to Louisiana, and thus expanded their operations to Dallas, Houston and Galveston on the Gulf coast. For this, a link from Purcell to ATSF main line at Wichita was built. Both the G-CSF as well as the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway, a subsidiary founded in 1886, whose power extended over the north-west of Texas and especially Amarillo and Lubbock anband were still operated until 1965 as an independent railway companies, which also operate on its routes led. Until 1908, the ATSF built a connection between Amarillo and the main route along the Rio Grande, to avoid the slopes of the Raton Pass. The track named Belen Cutoff had its largest slope in the Manzano Mountains subscription Canyon, west of Mountainair, New Mexico, where the depot was located on the route. With the Coleman Cutoff four years later became the route associated with the north-south route to the Gulf of Mexico, which allowed train routes such as Los Angeles - Houston.

1888 Chicago was linked from Kansas City and Denver from Pueblo from. The problems of society ranged, however, on further skirmishes with competition lanes as the Frog was called feud between the California Southern and the Southern Pacific in September 1883 to build the route over Cajon Pass addition: The manager George C. Magoun, who had worked hard to be Chairman of the Board of Directors, paid the problems in society with his health. 1889 was the market price, which depended heavily on the public perception of the success of the management of almost $ 140 to just 20 doller per share. Parallel to the market price to Magouns health deteriorated further; December 20, 1893, he died. Three days later, had to be notified due to the economic crisis of 1893 bankruptcy. After a necessary reorganization of the company the company name in 1895 was changed to " Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway". In the same year until 1890 and acquired companies Frisco Colorado Midland Railway were again repelled, but retained control of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in 1898 and confirmed by purchase. The desire to be able to drive exclusively on their own track from Chicago to the Pacific, led in the previous year to a trade with the Southern Pacific, in which the Sonora Railway was exchanged plus the distance Nogales Benson against the route Needles - Barstow Mojave. To get to Central California, 1899 track utilization rights have been acquired for the SP- line over the Tehachapi Pass and purchased the recently completed San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad from Bakersfield to Stockton. 1901 was completed by of the reorganized ATSF mainline at Ash Fork a branch line south to Phoenix.

In 1907, the Santa Fe jointly with the Southern Pacific Northwestern Pacific Railroad, which took over several smaller lines and joined them together new lines to connect San Francisco with Eureka in Northern California. 1928 sold the ATSF their share of the Southern Pacific. In the same year she earned the past in the U.S. part of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway to open up the oil fields of West Texas.

The Santa Fe was one of the first U.S. cars, diesel locomotives inserting (1936 /37), so that the needs of the supply of steam locomotives were with water in the desert areas of the table. Before even electrification between Albuquerque / Belem and Bakersfield was examined. With the oil crisis of 1974, the executive suite of Santa Fe contributed the idea to operate the entire main line Chicago - Los Angeles under the contact wire.

In 1983 the Santa Fe wanted to merge with the Southern Pacific Railroad for " Southern Pacific Santa Fe ". Both companies even so, to repaint their locomotives in red- yellow began. Two years later ordered the U.S. Cartel (ICC; Interstate Commerce Commission ) to the separation. The new shortcut SPSF was of jokers as should'nt Paint So Fast ( " If you had only less quickly repainted " ) reinterpreted. After the failed merger, the Santa Fe was the smallest of the seven major U.S. freight railroads and focused on the container and piggyback transport between the Midwest and Southern California. In June 1994, the merger of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe with the was announced. The merger was completed on 21 September 1995.


The Santa Fe operated a large and wide-ranging fleet of steam locomotives. The type of locomotive "Santa Fe" mean locomotives with axle formula 2-10-2 ( 1'E1 '), which first appeared in 1903. The railway company had more than 300 pieces, most specimens of this type. In addition, the Santa Fe entertained every imaginable type, including 4-4-2 Atlantics, 2-6-0 Moguls, 2-8-0 Consolidations, 2-8-2 Mikado (or " Mikes " ), 2-10-0 Decapods, 2-6-2 Prairies, 4-8-4 Northern 4-6-4 Hudsons, 4-6-2 Pacifics, 4-8-2 Mountains, 2-8-4 Berkshires, and 2-10-4 Texas '. Furthermore, a number of joint locomotives operated, including locomotives with axle configurations 2-6-6-2, 2-8-8-0, 2-10-10-2, and the rare 2-8-8-2 Mallet type 4-4-6-2.

The acquisition of the Hudson design began in 1927 with the class 3450 and was completed ten years later with the 3460 class. The locomotive 3461 presented in December 1937 with 2227 miles between Chicago and Los Angeles, a long-distance world record.

The first diesel locomotives were introduced in 1936 used for the new Super Chief.


It was known the ATSF for her until 1971 maintained passenger who later went over to Amtrak. Here the locomotives came in " Warbonnet " design with a red front, side pulled down in S- line red stripes and a yellow front cross, the emblem and name of the ATSF wore used.

The ATSF was innovative in the development of rolling stock and train systems. In 1956, she sat in the famous Überlandzug Super Chief, a double-decker long-distance coaches, as they were in the late 1970s popular with Amtrak. To achieve smaller cities, rail diesel cars were used and offered bus services over the Trailways Transportation System. The use of observation car began in 1951 in the Super Chief under the name " Pleasure Domes ".

Long-distance trains left Chicago in the Dearborn Station and reached Los Angeles until May 1939 in the La Grande station, then at Union Station. The most important long-distance trains on this route were next to the Super Chief and the Schwesterzug El Capitan of ten years earlier imported and exclusively formed with Pullman Chief and the still older California Limited, but has been adjusted in 1954 and thus did not live to the transition to Amtrak.