Christan Lebeau

Written by Christan Lebeau

Modified & Updated: 08 Oct 2023

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


When it comes to popular railway companies in the United States, BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) stands out as one of the largest and most renowned. With a rich history and an extensive network spanning across 28 states, BNSF has established itself as a prominent player in the transportation industry.

In this article, we will delve into 15 fascinating facts about BNSF that highlight its achievements, innovations, and impact on the economy. From its inception to its current operations, we will explore the key milestones that have shaped BNSF into the powerhouse it is today.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn some interesting tidbits about this iconic company. Whether you’re a railway enthusiast or simply curious about the inner workings of BNSF, this article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of what makes this popular railway company truly exceptional.

Key Takeaways:

  • BNSF, one of the biggest railroads in North America, was formed in 1995 by merging two historic railroads. It operates over 8,000 locomotives and has a strong safety record.
  • BNSF is committed to environmental practices and supports local communities. It has a strong on-time delivery record and operates in Canada, connecting to major ports for international trade.
Table of Contents

BNSF is one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America.

With an extensive network spanning 32,500 miles across 28 states, BNSF is a key player in the transportation industry.

BNSF was founded in 1995 through the merger of two historic railroads.

The Burlington Northern Inc. (BN) and the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (SF) came together to form BNSF.

BNSF operates more than 8,000 locomotives.

These powerful engines are responsible for hauling freight and ensuring efficient transportation across the BNSF network.

BNSF employs over 40,000 people.

This dedicated workforce plays a crucial role in maintaining the operations and ensuring the smooth functioning of the railroad system.

BNSF handles a wide range of cargo, including industrial products, agricultural goods, and consumer goods.

From lumber and steel to grains and automobiles, BNSF transports various types of cargo to different destinations.

BNSF has intermodal facilities that facilitate the transportation of goods using multiple modes.

These facilities allow for seamless transfers between trains, trucks, and ships, providing efficient door-to-door delivery.

BNSF is committed to environmentally-friendly practices.

The company has implemented initiatives to reduce fuel consumption, minimize emissions, and promote sustainable operations.

BNSF operates an extensive rail network in Texas.

The state of Texas is home to over 6,000 miles of BNSF tracks, making it a critical hub for transportation in the region.

BNSF has a strong safety record.

The company prioritizes safety measures, including regular maintenance of tracks and equipment, to ensure the well-being of its employees and the communities it serves.

BNSF has a comprehensive training program for its employees.

From train operators to maintenance crews, BNSF provides extensive training to ensure competency and adherence to safety protocols.

BNSF has invested in technology for enhanced efficiency.

The company utilizes advanced systems, such as GPS tracking and automated train inspections, to optimize operations and improve overall efficiency.

BNSF operates in Canada and has access to major ports for international trade.

The company’s rail network extends into Canada, providing a crucial link to major ports, facilitating trade between North American and international markets.

BNSF actively supports local communities through charitable initiatives.

The company invests in community development, education, and disaster relief programs to make a positive impact in the areas it operates.

BNSF is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., led by renowned investor Warren Buffett.

Since 2010, BNSF has been a part of Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio, benefiting from the expertise and resources of one of the world’s most successful investment firms.

BNSF has a strong track record of on-time delivery.

The company’s efficient operations and commitment to reliability ensure that freight reaches its destination within the promised timeframe.


In conclusion, BNSF is a prominent and influential player in the railroad industry. With a rich history, impressive track network, and a commitment to innovation and safety, BNSF has cemented its position as one of the top railroad companies in the United States. The company’s extensive reach and strategic partnerships enable it to efficiently transport goods across the country, supporting various industries. BNSF’s dedication to sustainability and community engagement further enhances its reputation and distinguishes it from its competitors. As BNSF continues to embrace technological advancements and adapt to the changing landscape of transportation, it is poised for even greater success in the future.


Q: How long has BNSF been in operation?

A: BNSF was created in 1995 through the merger of Burlington Northern Inc. and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, but its roots trace back to the mid-19th century.

Q: Where does BNSF operate?

A: BNSF operates in 28 states across the western and central parts of the United States, covering a vast network of over 32,500 miles of track.

Q: What types of freight does BNSF transport?

A: BNSF transports a wide range of goods, including consumer products, agricultural products, coal, petroleum, chemicals, and industrial goods.

Q: How does BNSF prioritize safety?

A: BNSF prioritizes safety through ongoing training programs, rigorous maintenance protocols, and the use of advanced technology to monitor and improve safety performance.

Q: Is BNSF committed to sustainability?

A: Yes, BNSF is committed to sustainability. The company actively implements environmentally-friendly practices, invests in fuel-efficient locomotives, and works towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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