In 1859, Cyrus K. Holliday envisioned a railroad that would run
from Kansas to the Pacific, increasing the commerce and prosperity
of the nation. With farsighted investors and shrewd management, the
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad grew from Holliday's idea
into a model of the modern, rapid, and efficient railroad.
There were many growing pains. Rustlers, thieves, and
desperadoes were as thick as the cattle in Kansas when the first
rails were laid. When a conductor, toting a pistol, asked a
grizzled prospector where he was heading, the old man replied,
"Hell." "That's 65[ and get off at Dodge," the weary conductor
Once built with rails from Wales laid on ties of oak and walnut,
the railroad survived the economic and climatic hardships of the
late nineteenth century, and eventually extended from Chicago to
San Francisco, with over 12,000 miles of track and substantial
holdings in oil fields, timber land, uranium mines, pipe lines, and
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