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BNSF Railway / Culture


BNSF Railway is the largest freight railroad network in North America. It’s history dates back to 1849, and its expansion encompasses the settlement of the American West. The railroads traverse iconic American landscapes; which BNSF employees will often capture and submit to be included in the company calendar.


The photograph selected for the cover of the 2020 BNSF calendar, which celebrates a 25th anniversary milestone, is that of a loaded coal train as it winds through the Wendover canyon in Wyoming. The photo was captured by Ashley Lane, project manager, Environmental Operations, Kansas City, KS. She wrote of the photo: “While inspecting a railroad bridge, the coal train – backed by lush pines, big sky and canyon walls – rounded the corner. I couldn’t help but snap a picture with my iPhone 8 just as it crossed the bridge.”


Following a day of onsite meetings with the BNSF team, I was presented with the calendar and the story behind it. It is important to note that the BNSF head office in Forth Worth is an inspiring workplace that includes meeting rooms placed in old passenger cars and hallways filled with curated artwork, predominantly original oil paintings of American West landscapes.


The BNSF company culture inspired my own amateur watercolor reproduction of Ashley Lane’s featured photograph.


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Would love to hear more about other companies and their cultures—has anyone else been inspired by their company’s culture beyond the workplace?