Railroad Companies of Kansas

Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad at Kiowa, Kansas by Jack Delano, 1943.

Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad at Kiowa, Kansas by Jack Delano, 1943.

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Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (1859-1880)

Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad

Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad (1885-1891)

Chicago, Kansas and Western Railroad (1886-1901)

Chicago and Rock Island Railroad (1847-1980)

Elwood & Marysville Railroad

Fort Scott, Humboldt & Western Railway

Kansas Central Railway (1871-1879)

Kansas Central Railroad (1879-1897)

Kansas & Neosho Valley Railroad (1865-1868)

Kansas City, Emporia, and Southern Railroad (1877-1882)

Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad (1879-1888)

St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita Railway

Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad

Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad (1890-1899)

Kansas City Southern Railroad (1890-????)

Kansas Pacific Railroad (1863-1880)

Kansas Valley Railroad Railroad

Leavenworth, Kansas & Western Railroad

Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad

Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western Railroad (1855-1863)

Leavenworth & Lecompton Railroad

Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway (Katy) (1868-1888)

Missouri Pacific Railroad (1869?-1930)

Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad (1868-1879)

Nevada & Minden Railroad

Palmetto and Roseport Railroad Company (1860-1862)

Rock Island Railroad (1886-1888)

Southern Kansas Railroad

Southern Pacific Railroad

St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad

St. Joseph & Western Railroad (1860-1884)

St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad (1862-1877)

St. Louis, Fort Scott and Wichita Railroad (1880-1887)

St. Louis & Kansas Central Railway

St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (1853-1890)

Union Pacific Railroad (1862-Present)

Missouri-Kansas-Texas train under several feet of water,1904

Missouri-Kansas-Texas train under several feet of water,1904.

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“The railroads seemed to be tailor-made for the huge American landmass and for the indomitable spirit of its people.”
Christian Wolmar

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Fred Harvey house and Santa Fe Station, Chanute, Kansas

Harvey House Restaurants could once be found all along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway through Kansas and on into the Southwest. These were  developed by Leavenworth entrepreneur, Fred Harvey. This building continues to stand in Chanute, Kansas, now serving as a library.

On the 20th of March, 1860, the first iron rail for a railroad on Kansas soil, was laid at Elwood in Doniphan County, Kansas just opposite St. Joseph, Missouri. This rail was laid on the Elwood & Marysville Railroad, which later became the St. Joseph & Western Division of the Union Pacific Railroad. On April 28th, the track on this road had been completed to Elwood, five miles distant, and on that day, the locomotive Albany, an engine which had been used from Boston to the Missouri River, as railroads had successively wended their way toward the West, was brought over the river from St. Joseph on a ferry boat and placed on the new railroad track. This was the first iron horse that ever touched Kansas soil. The next day several cars were brought over, and grand jubilation was held at Elwood over the completion of what was claimed to be the first section of the Great Pacific Railroad.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated February 2021.

Also See:

A Century of Railroad Building

Kansas History

Railroad Main Page

Railroads & Depot Photo Gallery

Railroads of Kansas

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