The Burlington Northern Railroad (BN) was created in 1970 through the consolidation of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, the Great Northern Railway, the Northern Pacific Railway and the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway. On June 30, 1994, BN and ATSF announced plans to merge; they were the largest and smallest (by mileage) of the "Super Seven," the seven largest of the then-twelve U. This announcement began the next wave of mergers, as the "Super Seven" were merged down to four in the next five years.
The company is investing an estimated $34 billion in BNSF and acquiring $10 billion in debt.
BNSF Dash 9-44CW #1041 leading a manifest freight train northwest of Shallowater, Texas, running on former ATSF railroad tracks that run parallel to U. Route 84 as they cross the high plains of the Llano Estacado.
The BNSF and UP have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the Western U. and share trackage rights over thousands of miles of track.
The BNSF Railway Company is the principal operating subsidiary of parent company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC.
Unlike BN and ATSF, UP and SP had significant overlap, where competition between the two would become a monopoly.