Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
Baldwin Locomotive Works – 1899
Santa Fe Railway – 1953
Originally numbered #891, this oil-burning locomotive was used mostly to pull freight trains in Texas, Oklahoma, and surrounding states. Although many engines of this class were operating on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway lines in California, this particular locomotive’s record tells of service on Santa Fe’s Northern, Southern, Panhandle, Plains, and Gulf Divisions – all outside of California. The locomotive’s appearance changed very little during its 55-year service career, and it was still in active service right up to the time of its donation to Travel Town in 1953.
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The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway was chartered in 1859 to connect the towns of Atchison and Topeka, Kansas, with the frontier trading center of Santa Fe, New Mexico. The “Santa Fe” railway eventually became one of the nation’s largest, with tracks stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Texas. Santa Fe was well known for its outstanding passenger trains, including the world famous Super Chief. The railway partnered with 19th Century entrepreneur, Fred Harvey, to build a chain of restaurants and hotels across the country. The famous “Harvey Houses” helped settle the west and promote tourism in the Southwest.
In 1995, AT&SF merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to form today’s BNSF Railway. In 2010, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased the entire BNSF company for $44 billion.