TheBNSF Railway Company(reporting markBNSF) is the largestfreight railroadnetwork inNorth America. One of seven North AmericanClass I railroads, BNSF has 42,000 employees,32,500 miles (52,300 km) of track in 28 states, and more than 8,000 locomotives..It has threetranscontinentalroutes that provide rail connections between the western and eastern United States. BNSF trains traveled over 169 million miles (272 million km) in 2010, more than any other North American railroad.
According to corporate press releases, the BNSF Railway is among the top transporters ofintermodal freightinNorth America. It also haulsbulk cargo, including enoughcoalto generate around ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States.
The creation of BNSF started with the formation of aholding companyon September 22, 1995. This new holding company purchased theAtchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway(often called the "Santa Fe") andBurlington Northern Railroad, and formally merged the railways into theBurlington Northern and Santa Fe Railwayon December 31, 1996. On January 24, 2005, the railroad's name was officially changed toBNSF Railway Companyusing the initials of its original name.