By Ed Gordon
contributing writer 

BNSF Railway

Train Talk

 

April 16, 2022

Ed Gordon

BNSF train rolling through Tehachapi.

That BNSF train you see rolling through Tehachapi is one of many. BNSF Railway is a leading freight transportation company, and its rail network is 32,500 route miles in 28 states and three Canadian provinces.

BNSF is one of the top transporters of the products and materials that help feed, clothe, supply and power communities throughout America and the world. BNSF moves those goods more safely and efficiently, on significantly less fuel, with fewer emissions than the all the trucks on the highway.

BNSF's history dates back 170 years to 1849, when the 12-mile Aurora Branch Railroad was founded in Illinois. Over the next several decades, many additional rail lines were built and eventually became part of what is today's BNSF Railway. Some of BNSF's predecessor railroads were Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe; Burlington Northern; Chicago, Burlington and Quincy; Frisco; Great Northern; Northern Pacific and Spokane, Portland and Seattle. BNSF was created Sept. 22, 1995, from the merger of Burlington Northern, Inc., parent company of Burlington Northern Railroad, and Santa Fe Pacific Corporation, parent company of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. On Feb. 12, 2010, BNSF became a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.


In 2021, 5.6 million intermodal shipments, truck trailers or containers, were transported on BNSF's rail lines instead of on the countries congested highways. A new car or truck is loaded or unloaded onto a BNSF automobile train approximately every 11 seconds. BNSF has 1.3 million feet of track in intermodal facilities alone. BNSF hauled 3.2 million carloads of industrial products. BNSF hauls enough asphalt to lay a single lane road two times around the equator. In 2019, BNSF hauled 1.5 million coal shipments. One shipment of coal can power 19 homes for an entire year.


CLICK HERE to read The Loop's 2021 Experience Tehachapi Magazine!

BNSF trains operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A wide range of factors can cause our trains' trip schedules to change. Those conditions may be related to equipment, track or weather events. As a result of those changing conditions and for security reasons, freight train schedules are not released to the public.

BNSF does its best to limit the amount of time any crossing is blocked on a mainline track. Our business and our customers depend on BNSF to keep our trains moving. When our trains experience a situation that forces them to stop BNSF works to correct or resolve the situation as quickly as possible to resume the safe movement of trains.


BNSF helps connect freight shippers and consumers in the global marketplace. For more than 160 years, BNSF has played a vital role in building and serving the nation's economy by delivering many of the products we use every day. Some of which are: grain and other ingredients to produce the foods we eat, raw materials to build homes and operate businesses, finished electronics, clothing and consumer goods and supply low-sulfur coal to generate more than 10 percent of the nation's electricity.

Railroads are required by federal law to move hazardous materials. Most of these include products used by consumers every day such as paint, batteries, alcohol-containing products such as hand sanitizer and insect repellent and household cleaning products.

The hazardous materials of greatest concern to emergency officials represent only about 0.3 percent of all rail shipments. BNSF helps train emergency responders across our system to ensure they are prepared to protect the public should such an emergency occur.

BNSF appreciates its rail fan photographers and thanks them for their interest in BNSF and its trains. For safety reasons, BNSF can't grant access to its property for photography purposes. Photography of BNSF operations must be done from a safe location outside of railroad property.

Encounters between BNSF police and photographers are generally casual in nature and not documented unless there is a criminal violation or circumstance that would warrant further law enforcement action or enforcement. BNSF Police reinforce guidance on this issue to officers in the field so that continues to be common practice.

BNSF values the support the rail community provides to our officers and rely on their continuing understanding that the intent of any contact by police is part an effort to further the safety of our railway and the communities where we operate.

BNSF does its best to limit the amount of time any crossing is blocked on a mainline track. Our business and our customers depend on BNSF to keep our trains moving. When our trains experience a situation that forces them to stop BNSF works to correct or resolve the situation as quickly as possible to resume the safe movement of trains.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2021