|The first and original company was chartered as the Atchison & Topeka Railroad Company by the Kansas |
legislature in 1859. In 1863 the name was changed to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company and
work was first begun, nearly ten years after the charter was secured, on the line from Topeka west.
The original line was chartered to build into the coal fields of Kansas and in a subsequent evolution built further
westward, first through the prairies of Kansas, thence into three, Colorado and New Mexico, opening up new
agricultural, grazing and mining country approximately along the line of what was known in the early days of
wagon traffic as the "Santa Fe Trail." The earlier lines were entirely constructed within the State of Kansas,
and it was not until 1875 that the construction of some mileage outside of that state was commenced, the more
extended operations, however, not being undertaken until 1881.
The Story of the Santa Fe Glenn Danford Bradley 1920