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Logo 04 - Santa Fe Railway, c. 1882
Santa Fe Railway Logo
Mural Depiction

The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, often abbreviated to Santa Fe or AT&SF, was one of the larger railroads in the United Sates, chartered in February 1859. Despite the name, its main line never served Santa Fe, New Mexico. As the terrain was too difficult, the town ultimately was reached by a branch line from Lamy, New Mexico. The railroad reached the Kansas/Colorado state line in 1873 and Pueblo, Colorado in 1876. It set up real estate offices and sold farm land from the land grants that it was awarded by Congress, as the farms would create a demand for transportation.

AT&SF became involved in a railroad war with the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad over choke points at Royal Gorge, Colorado, and Raton Pass, New Mexico. In March 1881 the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway linked to the Southern Pacific Railroad in Deming, New Mexico, to create the second transcontinental railroad line in the United States by connecting Kansas City and Los Angeles.


The Santa Fe passenger service continued until 1971, when Amtrak took over passenger service from most railroads. It set the standard for luxury and attention to detail, with famed trains like the California Limited, the Super Chief, the El Capitan, the Valley Flyer and the Texas Chief.


The railroad officially ceased operations on December 31, 1996 when it merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway.

Background Information

For more information regarding the history of the Santa Fe railroad visit Santa Fe Railway

Mural Information

Completed: September 2013

Sponsor: Union Pacific Railway

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