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.




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

Holiday Express finishes 10th annual run to honor military families

BNSF’s Holiday Express, a special train tour to honor military members and their families, has wrapped up the 10th annual run! This year’s tour visited Temple, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Oklahoma City; Springfield, Mo. and Kansas City, Mo. Military families enjoyed a fun train ride with Santa Claus, enjoyed refreshments and received gift ornaments. Over the past 10 years, the Holiday Express has carried more than 25,000 military personnel and their families. Here's a look at the train's visit to Fort Worth.

 

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Holiday Express finishes 10th annual run to honor military families

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas - Happy Hanukkah - Happy Holidays to all our Friends of BNSF members and your loved ones! Happy New Year, and watch for exciting developments in 2018.

 

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Happy Holidays!

Maia LaSalle, BNSF agriculture ombudsman

Maia LaSalle is an agriculture ombudsman for BNSF Railway based in Havre, Mont. BNSF ombudsmen get involved in the communities they live and work in to better serve farmers, processors and shippers across our network. It's an important part of BNSF's commitment to working alongside the American farmer to put food on tables around the world.

 

 

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Maia LaSalle, BNSF agriculture ombudsman

View of Spokane, Wash. from viaduct, 1931

View of Spokane from Northern Pacific viaduct in 1931

Spokane and BNSF Railway go back a long way!  Northern Pacific Railway, a major BNSF predecessor line, was the first railroad to reach Spokane in June 1881. This Northern Pacific photo from our archives shows a scene from Spokane in 1931, visible from the viaduct. This is North Stevens Street, facing north.  That narrow lane between the two buildings in right foreground is Railroad Alley. The first intersection visible is West 1st Avenue, and the intersection farther back is Sprague Avenue. The famous Hotel Spokane and Silver Grill is no more, but all the buildings on the right are still there.
 

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View of Spokane, Wash. from viaduct, 1931