Welcome to Friends of BNSF!

If any of the following describes you, then this might be just the website for you:

  • You want to know more about how BNSF contributes to our way of life;
  • You or a family member works at BNSF;
  • You or a family member has retired from BNSF or one of its predecessor companies;
  • You want to explore the rich history of BNSF;
  • Or, you just flat out love trains!

We've got plenty for you to check out. Take a look at the sample stories below. Then, join the site.




How BNSF protects against avalanches

Working for the railroad… on skis!

These BNSF employees have an important safety role. They inspect avalanche starting zones and mitigate avalanche risk in the mountains of Montana.

 

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How BNSF protects against avalanches

2018 safety drawing contest open to children, grandchildren of BNSF employees

​The 2018 BNSF safety drawing contest is now open to children and grandchildren of BNSF employees and retirees.

 
The theme this year is "For safety's sake, let's communicate."
 
The Safety Drawing Contest provides an opportunity for a parent/guardian to talk about the importance of safety with a child and our strong safety commitment at BNSF. 
 
BNSF Safety Drawing Contest Overview:
 
Deadline for entry: Friday, May 4, 2018
 
Prizes: $100 gift card for grand prize winner; $50 gift card for category winners
 
Age categories: All entries will be judged, and prizes will be awarded for the grand prize winner and a winner for each age category. The following age categories are determined by age on May 4, 2018.
 
  • 3 and younger (no single winner; all entries receive a participation prize)
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2018 safety drawing contest open to children, grandchildren of BNSF employees

Time-lapse video: BNSF rebuilds high-tech command center

Seven months and $20 million worth of work shown in 1 minute!
 
Here’s an amazing time-lapse video of our high-tech Network Operations Center being renovated last year. The center manages 1,400 trains and 205,000 railcars every day. Its floor is as big as 10 Olympic swimming pools. Dispatchers temporarily relocated to allow the renovation to take place, but now they’re back at work in the NOC with new, technologically advanced workstations and a redesigned layout to ease communication.
 

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Time-lapse video: BNSF rebuilds high-tech command center

Taconite - what is it and why does BNSF haul it?

One of the many interesting commodities BNSF hauls is called taconite! Ever heard of it? It’s an ore that contains iron and when it’s processed into pellets, it’s great for making steel. This cool 1-minute video shows how BNSF helps get the pellets to the steel mill.

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Taconite - what is it and why does BNSF haul it?

Great Northern Railway workers place last spike to complete transcontinental route, Jan. 6, 1893

Great Northern Railway workers place the last spike in the Cascade Mountains in 1893.

In this photo, rail workers celebrate the placement of the last spike of the Great Northern Railway (GN) track in the Cascade Mountains. The last spike was driven on Jan. 6, 1893, and signified the completion of GN’s 1,816-mile transcontinental line. Work on the Pacific extension began Friday, Oct. 20, 1890, at Havre, Mont. By the end of the summer of 1893, regular service solidified the link between Seattle and the East.

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Great Northern Railway workers place last spike to complete transcontinental route, Jan. 6, 1893

BNSF names new siding in honor of Melonas family's 110 years of railroading

Gus and Louis Melonas stand by the sign marking the new Melonas Siding along the Columbia River in Washington state.

Friends of BNSF members in the Pacific Northwest may know of the Melonas family, which has been part of the story of BNSF and its predecessors for more than 100 years. Konstantinos "Gust" Melonas was a construction foreman for the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway (SP&S) in southern Washington starting in 1907. His sons Sam and John Melonas worked for the railroad as well. Sam became an assistant superintendent for roadway and maintenance for Burlington Northern (BN), and John became a vice president for safety at BN. Sam's sons Louis and Gus work for BNSF today. Louis, at right in photo, is a welding foreman and Gus, left, is a regional public affairs director frequently seen speaking to news media.

In honor of the family's three generations of contributions to the railroad, last month BNSF officially named a new siding in the Columbia River Gorge the Melonas Siding. Both Louis and Gus Melonas attended the ceremony. Congratulations and thanks to the Melonas family for their service!

More details in The Columbian.

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BNSF names new siding in honor of Melonas family's 110 years of railroading