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.

Atchison & Nebraska Railway

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

Burlington and Missouri River Railroad

Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Railroad

Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad

Chicago, Kansas, and Nebraska Railroad (1885-1891)

Chicago, Kansas, and Western Railroad (1886-1901)

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (1847-1980)

Elwood & Marysville Railroad

Florence, El Dorado, and Walnut Valley Railroad

Fort Scott, Humboldt & Western Railway

Garden City, Gulf, & Northern Railroad (1907-1911)

Garden City Western Railway (1915-Present)

Junction City and Fort Kearney Railroad (1871-1899)

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)

Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railroad

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

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

Marion and McPherson Railway

Marion Belt and Chingawasa Springs 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 & Wichita Railway (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.

“The railroads seemed to be tailor-made for the huge American landmass and for the indomitable spirit of its people.”
Christian Wolmar
Fred Harvey house and Santa Fe Station, Chanute, Kansas

Harvey House Restaurants could once be found along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway through Kansas and the Southwest. Leavenworth entrepreneur Fred Harvey developed these. This building stands in Chanute, Kansas, now serving as a library.

On March 20, 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 28, the track on this road had been completed to Elwood, five miles distant. On that day, the locomotive Albany, an engine that 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 Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated November 2023.

Also See:

A Century of Railroad Building

Kansas History

Railroad Main Page

Railroads & Depot Photo Gallery

Railroads of Kansas