The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company is one of the most extensive US railroads. It helped populate the southwestern region with its fast movement of goods, such as motor vehicle parts, industrial raw materials and farm products, and people. It was chartered by Kentucky lawyer, Cyrus K. Holliday, whose dream was to build a railroad along the Santa Fe trading route from Missouri to New Mexico. The line failed to reach Santa Fe as the terrain was too mountainous, and had to be connected by a secondary rail line from Lamy. The main lines extended the railroad’s reach as far west as Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, and north to Denver, Colorado, by 1901. It peaked in 1941 with 13,000 miles (21,000 km) of track, but gradually declined after this. In 1995, after several mergers, it was purchased by the Santa Fe Pacific Corporation and became the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.
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