Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway

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United States  >  Migration  >  Railroads  >  Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway

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. Settlers were attracted to nearby communities because the railroads provided access to markets. Railroads encouraged settlement along their routes to help increase the need for their service. If an ancestor settled near a railroad, you may be able to trace their place of origin back to another place along the tracks.

Historical Background

Building westward from Topeka, Kansas this railroad reached Dodge City in 1872, the Kansas-Colorado border in 1873, and Pueblo, Colorado in 1876. To attract settlers they set up land offices and sold farms on their Kansas land grants from Congress. ATSF 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 1878 ATSF tracks reached south from Bent's Fort, La Junta, and Trinadad, Colorado into Raton, New Mexico.[1] They reached Albuquerque in 1880, and linked into the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks at Deming, New Mexico in 1881 to open transcontinental service.[2]



Settlers and Records

Settlers along these tracks most likely came from Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas or Colorado. Many farmers settled in Kansas and Colorado. Some settled in New Mexico and Arizona, but especially in California.

There are no known passenger records of this railroad.

Internet Links



  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Topeka_and_Santa_Fe_Railway (accessed 4 July 2009).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Albuquerque, New Mexico" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_New_Mexico (accessed 5 July 2009), and .