Burlington Northern: The Final Years
- Mike Danneman
15th June 2022
The 1970 merger of Northern Pacific; Great Northern; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; and Spokane, Portland & Seattle created a new super railroad spanning the northern and central United States over a 25,000-mile network. For twenty-five years, BN was one of United States’ premier railroads. In its first decade BN had its hands full, paring down duplicate lines and forming a cohesive system from all the predecessor railroads, as well as investing in the explosive growth of Powder River Basin coal shipments. By the early 1980s though, BN had clearly become its own railroad, decked out in uniform Cascade green and black paint. The BN of the 1990s experienced continued growth in intermodal, grain and coal traffic, along with adding more hues to the company colours.
With wonderful original photographs, Mike Danneman takes a look at the last dozen years of the Burlington Northern before the merger with Santa Fe to form BNSF in 1995.