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The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway name remained virtually intact since 1863, with only a minor change from "railroad" to "railway" in December 1895.
The ATSF owes its beginnings to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, a transplanted Pennsylvanian born in 1826. Quite an entrepreneur, Holliday owned or promoted a variety of business ventures in land, coal and transportation. He was the founding father and mayor of Topeka, served in the Union army during the Civil War and dabbled in many other political and social ventures in Kansas. Holliday also guided the development of the Santa Fe Railway, from the creation of its charter in 1859 through construction that began in Topeka on a cool and blustery October 30, 1868. He lived to see the railroad reach the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico and California's Pacific shore, his vision from the start.
Santa Fe played a key role in moving the transportation industry forward with innovation and creativity. Santa Fe developed the first land-bridge container train, linking Asia with Europe using Santa Fe and Penn Central (Conrail) lines. In the mid-1970s, Santa Fe people developed the first articulated intermodal railcar, featuring a skeleton design for lighter weight, a lower center of gravity and reduced fuel consumption. This "Six-Pack," which later became the "Ten-Pack Fuel Foiler," was the forerunner of today's articulated intermodal cars. Santa Fe is credited with industry-wide improvements to other types of railcars as well, including the development of the Super Hopper and the articulated autoveyor.
In the late 1980s, Santa Fe developed improvements in locomotive cab design which later set the standard for the industry. About that same time, Santa Fe stunned the transportation industry with the announcement of its intermodal partnership with J.B. Hunt, the first such partnership between a railroad and a trucking firm. In 1993, a centralized Systems Operations Center in Schaumburg, Ill., became the world's largest fully distributed transportation management system.
In 1995 the Santa Fe Pacific Corporation merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad to become the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway.