BNSF Railway


BNSF Railway

Infobox rail
railroad_name = BNSF Railway
logo_filename = BNSF.png logo_size = 213
system_

map_size = 300
map_caption = BNSF system map
marks = BNSF, BNFE, BNFT
locale = United States Pacific Coast to Chicago and cities along the Mississippi River, as far east as Alabama
start_year = December 31, 1996
end_year = present
predecessor_line =
successor_line =
gauge = RailGauge|ussg
length =
hq_city = Fort Worth, Texas
website = http://www.bnsf.com
Infobox Company
name = BNSF Railway
foundation = December 31, 1996
location_city = Fort Worth, Texas
location_country = United States
num_employees = 40,000+ (2005)
The BNSF Railway reporting mark|BNSF headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the four remaining transcontinental railroads and one of the largest railroad networks in North America. Only the Union Pacific Railroad is larger in size. With globalization, the transcontinental railroads are a key component in the containerization of trade from the Pacific Rim. The BNSF Railway moves more intermodal freight traffic than any other rail system in the world.

It was formed December 31, 1996, as the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was merged into the Burlington Northern Railroad. In 1999 the BNSF Railway and the Canadian National Railway announced their intention to merge and form a new corporation entitled the North American Railways to be headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The United States' Surface Transportation Board (STB) placed a 15-month moratorium on all rail mergers, which ended this merger. On January 24 2005, the railroad's name was officially changed to BNSF Railway. [cite web| author=BNSF Railway| date=January 24 2005| url=http://www.bnsf.com/media/news/articles/2005/01/2005_01_24a.html| title=BNSF Adopts New Corporate and Subsidiary Logos and Changes Name of Railway Subsidiary as Part of Tenth Anniversary Celebration| accessmonthday=April 19 | accessyear=2006| ]

The BNSF Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, the holding company formed by the September 22, 1995 merger of Burlington Northern, Incorporated and the Santa Fe Pacific Corporation. According to corporate press releases, the BNSF Railway is among the top transporters of intermodal freight in North America. It moves more grain than any other American railroad. It also hauls enough coal to generate roughly 10% of the electricity produced in the United States. The company's northern route completes the high-speed link from the western to eastern United States.

This was the route of the Great Northern Railway's Silk Extras in the 1920s. They had priority over all other trains, stopping only for refueling and crew changes. These trains transported silk to the east from ships arriving in the Port of Seattle from Japan.

BNSF trackage

The BNSF Railway directly owns and operates track in 28 U.S. states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The railway also operates a small amount of track in Canada, including an approximate 30-mile (48 kilometer) section that runs from the U.S.-Canada border to Vancouver, British Columbia, a yard in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and approximately 70 miles of joint track with the Canadian National Railway, which runs south to the U.S. border.

For administrative purposes, BNSF is divided into fourteen operating divisions: California, Chicago, Colorado, Gulf, Kansas, Los Angeles, Montana, Nebraska, Northwest, Powder River, Southwest, Springfield, Texas, and Twin Cities. Each division is further divided into hundreds of subdivisions, which represent segments of track ranging from 300-mile mainlines to 10-mile branch-lines.

Not including second, third and fourth main-line trackage, yard trackage, and siding trackage, BNSF directly owns and operates over 24,000 miles (38,624 kilometers) of track. When these additional tracks are counted, the length of track which the railway directly controls rises to more than 50,000 miles (80,467 kilometers).

Additionally, BNSF Railway has gained trackage rights on more than 8,000 miles (12,875 kilometers) of track throughout the United States and Canada. These rights allow the BNSF to operate its own trains with its own crews on competing railroads' main tracks. BNSF locomotives also occasionally show up on competitors' tracks throughout the United States and Canada by way of lease and other contractual arrangements.

BNSF yards and facilities

BNSF operates various facilities all over the United States to support its transportation system. Facilities operated by the railway include yards and terminals throughout its rail network, system locomotive shops to perform locomotive service and maintenance, a centralized operations center for train dispatching and network operations monitoring in Fort Worth, and regional dispatching centers.

The BNSF Railway also operates numerous transfer facilities throughout the western United States to facilitate the transfer of intermodal containers, trailers, and other freight traffic. The BNSF Railway has direct control over a total of 33 intermodal hubs and 23 automotive distribution facilities. On February 9 2005, BNSF announced that it plans to build a new intermodal transfer facility near the port of Los Angeles called the Southern California International Gateway. The new facility, with direct rail access to the recently constructed Alameda Corridor, would supplement the container transloading abilities of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) built by Southern Pacific in the 1990s.

Large freight car hump yards are also scattered throughout the BNSF system. In 2005, Argentine Yard in Kansas City, Kansas processed the most freight cars. Further on, there is a list of currently operating BNSF Hump Yards.

The BNSF mechanical division operates eight locomotive maintenance facilities that perform preventive maintenance, repairs and servicing of equipment. The largest of these facilities are located in Alliance, Nebraska and Topeka, Kansas. The mechanical division also controls 46 additional facilities responsible for car maintenance and daily running repairs.

The BNSF system mechanical division, a subset of the mechanical division, operates two maintenance-of-way work equipment shops, responsible for performing repairs and preventive maintenance to BNSF's track and equipment, in Brainerd, Minnesota and Galesburg, Illinois. The system mechanical division also operates the Western Fruit Express Company's refrigerated car repair shop in Spokane, Washington.

In 2006, BNSF teamed with Vancouver, WA-based Tri Star to run BNSF's new transload facility in Fontana, CA, near the California Speedway.

Operating BNSF hump yards

BNSF operates hump yards in several cities: [cite web| author=Trains Magazine| date=July 8 2006| url=http://www.trains.com/trn/default.aspx?c=a&id=537| title=North America's Hump Yards| accessmonthday=June 27 | accessyear=2008| ]
*Barstow, California - Barstow Yard
*Galesburg, Illinois - Galesburg Yard
*Kansas City, Kansas - Argentine Yard
*Memphis, Tennessee - Tennessee Yard
*Minneapolis, Minnesota - Northtown Yard
*Pasco, Washington - Pasco Yard
*Seattle, Washington - Balmer Yard
*Tulsa, Oklahoma - Cherokee Yard

Routes

* The Northern BNSF Route runs from Seattle, Washington to Chicago, Illinois. It is the most northerly route of any railroad in the continental United States.
* The Transcon BNSF Route runs from Los Angeles, California to Chicago, Illinois. The 2006 BNSF Annual Report states: "We also added about 33 miles of second main track on our main line between Chicago and Los Angeles. All but 51 miles of this high-volume 2,200-mile route were double track, as of the end of 2006. Last year, we ran 100 trains per day on this expanded main line, compared with 60 per day in 2000." Technically, it is not double tracked in mid Kansas where two routes are used: Mulvane to Wichita to Newton to Emporia for primarily eastbound traffic; Emporia to El Dorado to Augusta to Mulvane for primarily westbound traffic.

Operating Divisions

BNSF's safety program

As one of the leading supporters of the Operation Lifesaver program to promote safety at railway crossings and right-of-ways, the BNSF Railway, in 2000, established a grade-crossing closure program. This program, wherein BNSF works with communities and landowners to identify crossings that are unnecessary or redundant, has helped close over 2,900 of BNSF's railway crossings throughout the United States. Due to the program, BNSF has been the industry leader in lowering the number of grade-crossing collisions.

On June 7, 2006, BNSF became the first Class I railroad to recruit railfans to help ensure the company's rail network remains safe. Called the Citizens United for Rail Security (CRS), BNSF designed a program that encourages railfans to register on an official company website. They can print out a small identification card, containing a list of general safety guidelines for a railfan to follow, as well as a toll-free telephone number to alert a BNSF representative of suspicious activities or potential security breaches.

BNSF has had a similar program for employees since 2003. The BNSF ON GUARD program has been highly successful, with over 200 employees reporting suspicious activities since its inception. [BNSF Railway (June 7, 2006), " [http://www.bnsf.com/media/news/articles/2006/06/2006-06-07a.html BNSF Railway Asks Rail Fans for Cooperation to Keep America's Rail System Safe] ". Retrieved June 29, 2006.]

BNSF also contracts with News Link, a small business in Lincoln, Nebraska, to publish employee newsletters focused on safety for each of the railroad's 14 operating divisions and nearly all of its system shops. These newsletters vary in length from 4 to 28 pages, published ranging from monthly to quarterly.

BNSF facts and figures

According to BNSF's 2005 Annual Report to Investors, at the end of 2005, the railway had more than 40,000 employees; 5,790 locomotives; and 81,881 freight cars.
*Broken down by specific kind of car, the BNSF owned:
** 34,631 covered hoppers,
** 12,579 gondolas,
** 8,658 boxcars
** 10,973 open hoppers
** 8,537 flatcars,
** 4,983 refrigerated "reefer" cars,
** 748 automobile cars,
** 422 tank cars,
** 27 general purpose boxcars, and
** 323 "other" types of cars.

*In addition, the railway also owned:
** 10,412 domestic containers,
** 12,649 domestic chassis,
** 4,091 company service vehicles,
** 1,916 trailers, and
** 179 commuter passenger cars.

In 2005, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Corp. was among 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the second inauguration of President George W. Bush. [cite news |first=Jim |last=Drinkard |title=Donors get good seats, great access this week |url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-16-inauguration-donors_x.htm |publisher=USA Today |date=2005-01-17 |accessdate=2008-05-25 ] [cite news |title=Financing the inauguration |url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-16-inaugural-donors_x.htm |publisher=USA Today |date= |accessdate=2008-05-25 ] [cite news |title=Some question inaugural's multi-million price tag |url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-14-price_x.htm |publisher=USA Today |date=2005-01-14 |accessdate=2008-05-25 ]

The average age from date of manufacture for the BNSF's locomotive and freight car fleet was 15 years at the end of 2005.

On any given day, BNSF is the single largest consumer of petroleum-based fuels in the world. The only larger consumer is the US Navy during a full-force wartime deployment.

On January 24 2006, BNSF announced a $2.4 billion program of infrastructure upgrades for 2006. The upgrade program includes: double- and triple-tracking convert|40|mi|km of track and a second mainline track through New Mexico's Abo Canyon on the former Santa Fe Railroad transcontinental line; expanding the Lincoln, Nebraska, classification yard and double- and triple-tracking convert|50|mi|km of track in Wyoming's Powder River Basin region; expansions at eight of the railroad's larger intermodal facilities, and extending many sidings and expanding and improving refueling facilities. In making the announcement, BNSF chairman Matthew K. Rose cited improvements in the company's return on invested capital, and expressed hope for continued improvement. [BNSF Railway (January 24 2006), " [http://www.bnsf.com/media/news/articles/2006/01/2006-01-24a.html BNSF Announces $2.4 Billion Capital Commitment Program for 2006; About $400 Million Again Slated for Track/Facilities Expansion] ". Retrieved January 30 2006.] In March, 2008, the railroad was completing the triple-tracking of Cajon Pass in California, creating four tracks through the pass--three BNSF (former Santa Fe and newly installed) and one Union Pacific (former Southern Pacific).

BNSF paint schemes

The assortment of colors used on the BNSF makes it one of the most colorful large railroads in North America. Many locomotives, sometimes called "Pumpkins," are painted in "Heritage I" or "Heritage II" schemes, which are based on the Great Northern Railway's colors of orange and dark green. In 2005 the company introduced the "New Image" paint scheme. Some locomotives were painted in Santa Fe's famous silver-and-red "Warbonnet" scheme, sometimes with "BNSF" painted on the sides instead of "Santa Fe." Even more locomotives continued to wear the green-and-white or blue-and-yellow colors of the two railroads that merged to create BNSF. The company plans to paint all engines in Heritage colors as they undergo overhauls.

On January 24 2005, the railroad introduced a new logo to replace the circle and cross logo of the Santa Fe. The new logo symbolizes the railroad's goals to be "a leader in transportation service and innovation." This logo marks the step away from the more verbose "Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway" moniker displayed in the old logo. The "New Image" paint scheme featured the new logo painted on the nose and sides of the locomotive and black stripes instead of green. BNSF has also rolled out a number of freight cars featuring the new company logo.

Several paint schemes were tried out before Heritage I was put into service. One engine, [http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?road_number=BNSF%209647 BNSF 9647] was painted in a hybrid scheme, with the shapes used in Santa Fe's "Warbonnet" scheme in Burlington Northern's colors. Reactions to this scheme were generally negative. The engine was called names such as "warvomit," "vomitbonnet," and "barfbonnet." Two slightly different experimental paint schemes were used on one unit, [http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?road_number=BNSF%209297 BNSF 9297,] ; the left side had small additional stripes. The fact that this locomotive has a unique paint scheme has led some railfans to dub it the "Great Pumpkin."

The Heritage I scheme [http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=214919] features a central orange stripe along the sides of the locomotive with dark green above and below, separated by thin yellow bands. The original company logo is painted on the front and "BNSF" is painted in the side in dark green. The Heritage II scheme (pictured to right) features a larger orange stripe with "BNSF" in yellow. The yellow bands separating orange and green are thicker and divided into three parts. Instead of the company logo, an adaptation of the "cigar band" from the Santa Fe warbonnet scheme is used on the front, with "BNSF" painted across it. The "New Image" scheme, [http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=209722] sometimes referred to as Heritage III, is similar to Heritage II except that black replaces green, and the new company logo is painted on both the front and sides of the locomotive.

References

* BNSF Railway (January 24 2005), [http://www.bnsf.com/employees/communications/bnsf_today/2005/01/2005-01-24-b2.html BNSF Adopts New Corporate and Subsidiary Logos and Changes Name of Railway Subsidiary as Part of Tenth Anniversary Celebration] . Retrieved January 25 2005.
* BNSF Railway (February 9 2005), [http://www.bnsf.com/news/articles/2005/02/2005_02_09a.html?index=/news/index.html Port of Los Angeles begins discussions with BNSF Railway Company on new intermodal facility] . Retrieved February 10 2005.

ee also

*BNSF Harbor Subdivision, a historic main in Southern California.
*BNSF Police Department, the law enforcement agency responsible for policing BNSF trackage and property
* Helper district

External links

* [http://www.bnsf.com/ BNSF's official website]
* [http://www.bnsf.com/tools/reference/division_maps/?menu=5&submenu=0 BNSF Division Maps]
* [http://www.bnsf.com/aboutbnsf/history BNSF History]
* [http://www.bnsf.com/media/html/company_profile.html BNSF Company Profile]
* [http://www.bnsf.com/media/bnsffacts.html Interesting BNSF Facts]
* [http://www.hoovers.com/free/co/factsheet.xhtml?ID=10250 Hoover's Company Profile]
* [http://www.bnsf.com/markets/intermodal/assets/pdf/intermodal_map.pdf BNSF Intermodal/Automotive Map in PDF Format]
* [http://www.railserve.com/railnews/bnsf_news.html BNSF News]
* [http://www.fobnr.org/ Friends of the Burlington Northern Railroad] - Historical society
* [http://www.bnsfstore.com/ BNSF Store] - Official company merchandise


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