Friends of BNSF is moving to a new online home

Friends of BNSF is about to get a new home! We’re excited to announce that starting today and over the next several weeks, the Friends of BNSF community will transfer to a private group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/bnsf.friends/. The current website has served us well, but it’s now seven years old, and it’s time to move into new digs.

Moving to Facebook will make it easier for you to share and enjoy members’ train photos and discuss BNSF-related topics with other group members. And it will make it easier for more fans and supporters of BNSF to find us and join our community. For many of you, Facebook is already a familiar and comfortable place to hang out online. You’re already spending time on Facebook, so visiting the Friends community will be easier than ever.

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Friends of BNSF is moving to a new online home

BNSF employees donate bicycles to Boys & Girls Club

BNSF employees donate bicycles to Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County 
Local BNSF employees donated 25 bicycles to the Boys & Girls Club of Spokane County on June 20 and helped the kids assemble the bikes themselves. These bicycles will stay at the club in northern Spokane County, Wash. to be shared and used by over 750 member children.

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BNSF employees donate bicycles to Boys & Girls Club

BNSF Railway Foundation supports Chief Standing Bear Scholarship Fund

Earlier this week the BNSF Railway Foundation awarded the Lincoln Community Foundation $15,000 toward the endowment established for the Chief Standing Bear Scholarship Fund. Each year the scholarship is offered to two Native American students who are enrolled in a tribe and who will be attending a higher-education institution.

The scholarship is named after Chief Standing Bear, a Ponca chief who significantly advanced civil rights for Native Americans and who has left a lasting impression on the state of Nebraska and the nation.

Judi Gaiashkibos, Executive Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, and Senator Tom Brewer accepted the donation on behalf of the community foundation. Chris Howell, director, Tribal Relations, represented BNSF at the ceremony.

The photo above shows Howell, Gaiashkibos and Brewer at the Centennial Mall in Lincoln, Neb., in front of the Chief Standing Bear Statue.

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BNSF Railway Foundation supports Chief Standing Bear Scholarship Fund

2018 Employee Appreciation Special visits four cities in 11 states on BNSF rail network

  The BNSF Employee Special is wrapping up its 2018 tour today! The annual train trip visits cities on BNSF's rail network to thank BNSF employees and their families with a fun two-hour train ride. Each year it visits a different section of the network. This year it stopped in 11 cities in four states: Arkansas City, Kan.; Lafayette, La.' Enid, Okla.; Oklahoma City; Madill, Okla.; Fort Worth; Wichita Falls, Texas; Temple, Texas; Houston; Silsbee, Texas and Teague, Texas.

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2018 Employee Appreciation Special visits four cities in 11 states on BNSF rail network

BNSF honors Arkansas City, Kan. with Community Heritage Award

BNSF honored Arkansas City, Kan. with the BNSF Railway Heritage Community Award on May 31. The award recognizes towns on our network who are proud of their historical connections to freight rail. 

In the photo, BNSF Assistant Vice President Andrew Johnsen, right presents the award to City Manager Nick Hernandez, left, and Mayor Dan Jurkovich.

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BNSF honors Arkansas City, Kan. with Community Heritage Award

BNSF employees help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey

More than eight months after Hurricane Harvey, large areas of Texas are still recovering. In Beaumont, which received 15 more inches of rain than greater Houston, some 7,000 homes remain either condemned or in need of repair, with trash and rubble still littering the streets.

In early May, a community project organized by BNSF employees gave some Beaumont residents hope that they will soon be able to move back into their once-uninhabitable homes. Joined by volunteers from customer Trans-Global Solutions, BNSF employees fanned out across the Beaumont area to work on 10 homes.

"We focused on houses of the elderly and the disabled. We hung sheetrock, installed insulation and got these structures back to being the homes their residents so need," said Diane Wagenaar, a sales manager on BNSF's Industrial Products team. "We met some of the homeowners, who were so thankful. One cried and told us she didn't think anyone cared."

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BNSF employees help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey

BNSF hits safety and emergency response hard

Sandpoint Idaho rail bridge BNSF

BNSF’s planned second rail bridge on Lake Pend Oreille will address a bottleneck and will help reduce the time trains spend in crossings in the Sandpoint, Idaho region, BNSF spokesperson Courtney Wallace told the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce on May 10. 

More in the Sandpoint Reader.

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BNSF hits safety and emergency response hard

Maintaining the BNSF network

BNSF's recurring investment in the maintenance of its infrastructure and assets continually improve safety and efficiency. That's why today, the BNSF network is in its best shape ever.

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Maintaining the BNSF network

Congratulations to BNSF's 2017 Safety Employees of the Year

BNSF recognized its 2017 Employees of the Year at an awards ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, in April, 2018. The annual Employees of the Year program identifies employees who have made exceptional contributions exemplifying BNSF’s vision and values through their commitment, leadership and focus on working safely and efficiently to meet customer expectations.

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Congratulations to BNSF's 2017 Safety Employees of the Year

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

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

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