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The Santa Fe Pacific Corporation was formed as the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation on December 23, 1983 (1983-12-23)[1] by the merger of Santa Fe Industries, which owned the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, with the Southern Pacific Company, which owned the Southern Pacific Railroad.[2] After the Interstate Commerce Commission denied their plan to merge their railroads as the Southern Pacific Santa Fe Railroad[3] the holding company name was shortened and the Southern Pacific Railroad sold.[4]

The holding company retained all the non-rail interests of both predecessors[4] (mainly real estate and natural resources, but Southern Pacific had also formed the telephone company known as Sprint, which was sold shortly before the merger).[5] It was initially headquartered in Chicago[6] and later in Schaumburg, Illinois, former Southern Pacific executive Robert Krebs succeeding Santa Fe head John J. Schmidt as CEO.

Almost immediately after the Southern Pacific was sold, Santa Fe Pacific issued a massive dividend, so large it was considered a return of capital, and financed by issuing a large amount of debt.

A few years after that, they spun off most of the company's natural resources interests as Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation and spun off all their non-track real estate interests, including railway stations, as Catellus Development.

In September 1995 what was left of the company merged into Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe railroad became part of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, with Krebs becoming head of the merged company until his retirement.

The Santa Fe Pacific Corporation was not related to the Santa Fe Pacific Railroad, which operated from 1897 to 1902.


  1. ^ Santa Fe Pacific Corporation: Cost Basis Changes (PDF). Burlington Northern Santa Fe (Report). Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  2. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (28 September 1983). "Santa Fe, Southern Pacific Join". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  3. ^ Dallos, Robert E. (25 July 1986). "Southern Pacific-Santa Fe Merger Prohibited by ICC". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b Zonana, Victor F. (5 September 1987). "Southern Pacific Railroad Will Be Put Up for Sale: Move Complies With ICC Ruling Forbiding Merger With Parent's 2nd Railway". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  5. ^ Bonner, Raymond (2 October 1982). "GTE to buy Sprint phone system". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  6. ^ Zonana, Victor F. (19 September 1985). "Southern Pacific Will Close Down Historic Headquarters in S.F." Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 July 2016.