The Wichita Terminal Association was formed in September 1889 as the Wichita Union Stockyards & Packing House Tracks Association by agreement between the Chicago, Kansas & Nebraska Railway Company (Rock Island), The Wichita & Southwestern Railway Company (Atchison), Fort Scott Wichita & Western Railway Company (Pacific) and the Kansas Midland Railroad Company (Frisco) for the purpose of ownership and operation of tracks in the stockyards and packing house district of Wichita. The company switched the small area of tracks near 21st Street in Wichita, KS.
At the turn of the century, Wichita’s economy began to grow and more industries were created in north Wichita. Because of this increase, spur tracks were built to connect the factories and mills with the long haul carriers. On June 29, 1923, control of these tracks transferred to the four major railroads in town; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company, the Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company and the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway Company. The new partnership became the Wichita Terminal Association, allowing each parent company to own a 1/4 share and one official from each carrier served on the WTA directors board.
Since that time the format of the WTA has basically remained the same, servicing the customers in the stock yards, packing houses and milling district. Today, the Wichita Terminal Association is owned equally by BNSF Railway (The Atchinson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company and the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway Company) and Union Pacific Railroad (The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway Company and the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company) and together, provide seamless switching of cars for industries on the Association tracks in north Wichita. Any shipper served by the Wichita Terminal Association is the same as being directly served by the Association’s owning railroads. With more than a dozen industries and a steady flow of business from the flour mills, grain elevators, feed mill, oilseed processing and a few other shippers, the Wichita Terminal Association should continue to prosper for many years into the future.