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Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway miscellaneous files

Call Number: RH MS 1399


The collection consists of various letters concerning train and railway-related issues from 1910 to 1953; train part blueprints; some financial data from 1937 to 1944; letters and documents from 1922 to 1952 regarding brake parts; and letters and documents from 1936 to 1948 regarding bar and roller bearings.


  • Creation: 1910 - 1953


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Atchison, Topeka, & Sante Fe Railroad

The Sante Fe Railway was chartered by the Kansas territorial legislature in February 1859, under a charter written by Cyrus K. Holliday. Due to drought the following year and then the start of the Civil War, as well as difficulties finding a construction company, construction did not begin on the railroad until 1868.

In 1863, after President Lincoln signed a land grant bill providing the company with land on each side of its main roads and branches, the stockholders elected to change the name of the company to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company (ATSF).

From 1868 to 1873, construction of the rail line moved west across the state of Kansas to Colorado. By 1880 the railroad was operating in New Mexico. The main line never went to Santa Fe, due to difficult terrain; instead that city was served by a branch line.

Offices for the company started in Boston, Massachusetts and moved over the years to New York City and Topeka, the financial office remaining in Boston. In 1895 after the company restructured due to inability to pay its debts, all administrative functions of the company were consolidated in Chicago.

The ATSF offered passenger and freight service until 1971, when passenger service was taken over by Amtrak. ATSF was known for its luxurious passenger service, particularly after Fred Harvey established a chain of restaurants, hotels, and related businesses in association with the railroad.

In the mid-1990s the ATSF merged with Burlington Northern to form the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway.


.5 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1399

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Charles Afflebaum.

Related Materials

Atchison, Topeka, and Sante Fe Railway Company records, Manuscripts collection 789, State Archives, Kansas Historical Society.



Guide to the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway collection
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway miscellaneous files
Finding aid prepared by mnm. Finding aid encoded by mnm.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway miscellaneous files, RH MS 1399, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States