The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (reporting mark ATSF), often abbreviated as Santa Fe, was one of the larger railroads in the United States, chartered in February 1859. Despite the name its main line never served Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the terrain was too difficult (Santa Fe was ultimately reached by a branch line from Lamy). The Santa Fe’s tracks reached the Kansas/Colorado state line in 1873 and Pueblo, Colorado in 1876. Santa Fe set up real estate offices and sold farm land from the land grants that the railroad was awarded by Congress; these farms would create a demand for transportation (both freight and passenger) by Santa Fe.

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