The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was one of the larger railroads in the United States, chartered in 1859. Atchison fought hard to be the eastern terminus of the line constructed on a grant similar to the transcontinental railroad.
St. Joseph, Missouri, founded in 1843, is a former frontier town along the Missouri River and was the starting point of the Pony Express. An interstate freeway viaduct was built along the riverfront in the late 1970s and early 1980s after retailers migrated toward interstate 29 that bypasses downtown to the east. Today it stands as the least used interstate in the Missouri and nearly completely cuts off the city from the river.