Major U.S. railroad that operated between St. Paul and Seattle. It was chartered by Congress in 1864 to build a line from Lake Superior to the Pacific coast. Financed by J. Cooke until 1873, it was later completed with H. Villard's backing. Financially troubled in the 1890s, it was reorganized by J. P. Morgan. He shared control of it with J. J. Hill, whose Great Northern Railway Co. was a competitor and who sought to combine the two railroads with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy through the Northern Securities Co. This arrangement was declared a violation of antitrust laws by the Supreme Court in 1904, but the three railroads remained financially linked and in 1970 were permitted to merge as the Burlington Northern, Inc. Burlington Northern acquired the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Co. in 1980 and the Santa Fe Pacific Corp. in 1995.