Our Railroad

Today's BNSF Railway is the product of nearly 400 different railroad lines that merged or were acquired over the course of 170 years.

While many different railroads combined to form BNSF, the people who worked at those railroads shared many traits. The people who built BNSF were — and continue to be — a unique breed, blending the forward-thinking of dreamers with the pragmatism of results-oriented business leaders. This heritage played a central role in settling and growing the American West, and today, BNSF continues to have a significant impact in meeting the needs of shippers and serving the economy.

Historical Logos

Company History

For more historical background, visit the BNSF Historical Overview or view as a PDF. Additional resources are also given below.

Family History

We receive numerous inquiries about individuals who may have been a part of our lineage of railroads through the years.

  • The fact is, despite the advanced technology at our command today, it is impossible to create a database that could begin to keep track of the generations of people who have been a part of what now is BNSF.

    Historical Societies and Museums