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!

From historic photos and videos to a library of resources about BNSF to free downloadables like wallpaper and ringtones, we've got plenty for you to check out. Take a look at the sample stories below. Then, join the site.

BNSF employees support Fort Worth’s Patriot House

As a proud employer and supporter of veterans, BNSF jumps at the chance to help military veterans. Recently, BNSF employees in Fort Worth had such an opportunity. Patriot House, a non-profit organization founded in 2005 under the umbrella of the Presbyterian Night Shelter, is dedicated to providing homeless veterans housing and basic life necessities. Having a need for supplies, BNSF employees generously responded by donating and collecting four pallets of goods, including microwaves, two bicycles, coffee makers, blenders, sheets, blankets and towels, in just a week’s time.

With the ultimate goal of helping veterans in need find employment and homes of their own, the recently donated items will be given to veterans moving into their own apartments and homes.

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BNSF employees support Fort Worth’s Patriot House

Mystery map of Great Northern, Northern Pacific networks turns up in BNSF archive

Look what turned up in a warehouse where BNSF stores historical materials! Uncovered in 2010, this impressive 6-foot by 18-foot railroad map has unclear origins. Dated by experts to somewhere between 1923 and 1935, the map was found in a canister labeled: “President Office-Great Northern Railway-St. Paul, Minnesota.” 

One of the most notable features of the map is the fact that both the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway are indicated in black. Normally, only the home road would be black. It’s thought that the map might have been used as a promotional tool for the merger attempt between the two railroads in 1927.

The map is now prominently displayed at the BNSF headquarters campus in Fort Worth, in a high-traffic corridor across from an employee common space.

The map itself is very fragile, since it is hand-painted in what appears to be tempera paint on paper that is about 90 years old, mounted on handkerchief-thin linen. Because of this, the map is protected by five pieces of Plexiglass mounted with stand-off bolts. This display method affords a great view of the map while protecting it from ultraviolet rays from sunlight and fluorescent lighting.

If you can shed any more light on the story behind this map, we’d love to hear from you!
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Mystery map of Great Northern, Northern Pacific networks turns up in BNSF archive

Alliance, Neb. is latest recipient of BNSF’s Heritage Community Award

BNSF has honored Alliance, Neb. with a Heritage Community Award. The award recognizes towns that embrace their past, present and future ties to freight rail. Alliance has had ties to BNSF for over a century, and continues to celebrate its railroad heritage and continuing prosperity.

A crowd gathered to witness Andrew Johnsen, BNSF assistant vice president community affairs, announce the award. Johnsen praised the relationship the railroad has had with the city of Alliance for more than 100 years.

The BNSF Railway Foundation also presented $5,000 donations to three area non-profit organizations that help build the community through programs for youth: the Alliance Bulldogs Backpack program, the Alliance Public School Foundation and the Alliance Area Family YMCA.

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (25 votes)
Alliance, Neb. is latest recipient of BNSF’s Heritage Community Award

BNSF successfully helps military with massive mobilization effort

BNSF recently supported the first-ever rail deployment of a Heavy Brigade Combat Team from the Minnesota National Guard. 

Minnesota Division employees based in Little Falls, Staples, Superior and surrounding areas assisted in loading and safely moving nearly 1,000 pieces of equipment, including Humvees, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and Abrams tanks, as well as 120 containers for the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division. More than 400 rail cars traveled 2,234 miles from Camp Ripley to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif. Eight trains safely departed central Minnesota over the course of nine days.


A single-track spur from Little Falls, Minn. serves Camp Ripley, with an additional two tracks inside the facility. Both were used for loading.

“Camp Ripley is a new territory with close clearance points and different walking conditions,” said Brian Whitmill, brakeman, “so we were on our toes.”

A team inspected and staged empty cars at Staples Yard before trains were built and inspected again. The National Guard representatives then loaded cars at Camp Ripley, and released them to BNSF Mechanical employees for additional inspection.

“This kind of operation is not something we deal with on a daily basis, with cars needing to be lined in a specific order, so we briefed a lot more,” said Chadd Nelson, road foreman of engines.

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (33 votes)
BNSF successfully helps military with massive mobilization effort

BNSF wishes Boeing a happy 100th birthday


Happy 100th birthday, Boeing! BNSF Railway congratulates the world’s largest aerospace company and its more than 150,000 employees on a century of success.

BNSF is proud to be an integral part of your sophisticated supply chain — an innovative logistics operation that supports the manufacturing of the world’s most popular airplanes.

We look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.

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BNSF wishes Boeing a happy 100th birthday

BNSF unveils new “pocket park” in downtown Topeka

Next time you’re in downtown Topeka, be sure to check out the BNSF Railway Pocket Park!

BNSF’s pocket park is one of eight such parks developed as part of the larger “Imagine Downtown” redevelopment project in Topeka, Kan.

The dedication was held Thursday, June 30, at 10th and S. Kansas Ave, with BNSF President and CEO Carl Ice in attendance. The park features a bronze statue of the first president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) and cofounder of Topeka, Cyrus K. Holliday.

The park also includes a scale model of a modern locomotive created by craftsmen in the BNSF Topeka Shops and a railcar wheelset that has been turned into park benches.

Photo above: The miniature locomotive featured in the park was built by employees at BNSF’s Topeka Shops.

A crowd gathers for the unveiling of the pocket park.


Carl Ice, BNSF president and CEO, shakes hands with Vince Fry, Downtown Topeka president and CEO. To the left Vice President of Corporate Relations Zak Andersen, and Regional Public Affairs Director Andy Williams.

 A railcar wheelset was turned into a park bench.


Carl Ice, BNSF president and CEO, rings a locomotive bell that was refurbished for the park. 


Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (63 votes)
BNSF unveils new “pocket park” in downtown Topeka