August 2018 • The latest from the Pacific Northwest
We’re hiring – get on board!
BNSF’s business is growing and we are actively recruiting to fill open positions at locations throughout our system. For information, go to: jobs.bnsf.com.
We pride ourselves on the talent and diversity that our more than 40,000 employees bring to BNSF. Our workforce prioritizes a focus on safety in an evolving industry while exuding tough-minded optimism. The family-oriented culture, competitive compensation plans and outstanding career growth opportunities create an environment that motivates team members to spend the longevity of their career at BNSF.
BNSF is consistently identified as a top employer for U.S. military veterans, and nearly one in every five BNSF employees is a veteran. Military personnel share many characteristics that transfer well to the world of railroading, including leadership, teamwork, strong safety focus and the ability to perform successfully in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
Join our team – we’ll welcome you aboard!
The “First Downtown Seattle” Tunnel
Long before the SR 99 tunnel and the downtown bus/light rail tunnel, a railroad tunnel was constructed downtown between Washington and Virginia streets.
A fascinating story about the tunnel is reported by Feliks Banel – broadcaster, filmmaker and historian – on mynorthwest.com.
For more than 110 years, the tunnel has safely and reliably served passenger and freight trains. Today, Amtrak and Sounder trains use the tunnel – along with freight trains. BNSF continues to invest in upgrades and maintenance to keep the tunnel – as well as the rest of our infrastructure – safe and reliable.
Agriculture is Helping to Drive Growth
BNSF moved a record amount of agricultural shipments in 2016 and 2017, and we are continuing to move record volumes in 2018. This is driven in large part because of PNW exports. Nearly 65 percent of the grain that BNSF carries originates from the upper plains states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. In 2016 and 2017, more than 330,000 carloads of agricultural products were shipped to Washington, and more than half of those carloads were grain. The Port of Longview, Port of Kalama, Port of Tacoma, Port of Seattle, Port of Vancouver, Port of Portland and Port of Grays Harbor are the primary ports these products are moving through before ultimately arriving in major destinations like China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, India, Viet Nam, Chile and Thailand.
Need Insight into Working with BNSF?
The BNSF Public Projects team, which is part of the Engineering team, recently released a Public Projects Manual.
The manual is a “how to” guide for public agencies and other entities that wish to work on BNSF property – for work such as constructing or modifying at-grade crossings, grade separations, quiet zones, crossing closures, drainage facilities, and any other construction adjacent to BNSF tracks. The site includes links to some of BNSF’s standard contracts and plan standards for items like overpasses and underpasses.
The manual also includes guidance on the proper team to contact for certain types of facilities work, such as permits and easements related to fencing and utilities, that actually fall under Jones Lange LaSalle (JLL), a consultant that reports to BNSF’s Real Estate team. A flow chart in the manual shows what types of facilities should go to BNSF or JLL.
In addition, a map at the bottom of the page shows territories for BNSF’s Public Projects managers and directors if you have any questions about these processes.
Helping People in Crisis
Nothing is more important to BNSF Railway than safety and this extends to reducing the risk of accidents involving people who are in encampments on or near the railroad’s right-of-way.
BNSF collaborates with local government and community groups to reach out to make people aware of safety concerns and to connect them with services.
More than $110,000 has been donated this year by the BNSF Railway Foundation to health and human service providers and nonprofits in Washington state that are helping to provide shelter, health care and food to people in need.
The Invictus Foundation Helps Veterans and their families
BNSF has made a grant of $20,000 to assist the Invictus Foundation in its efforts to improve access to behavioral health services by military members, veterans and their families.
“Through BNSF Railway’s generosity we will continue to raise awareness about the psychological impact of war, to reduce stigma, and to raise awareness about the Welcome Home Network’s™ services,” said Peter J. Whalen, Founder and CEO of the Invictus Foundation. “With BNSF’s continued commitment to this issue, we can extend our efforts to help military members, veterans and their families. This grant will help us continue our work to normalize what our military members, veterans and their families are experiencing and support the sacrifices that they are making by providing critical and confidential behavioral health support on a sliding fee schedule that includes no cost.”
Importantly, by providing services that are separate from the military establishment, the Welcome Home Network offers an essential option for men and women who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate services.
Emergencies – Call 800-832-5452
To report a vehicle stalled on a crossing, suspicious circumstances, malfunctioning crossing gates and lights, or any other emergency, call 800-832-5452 immediately.
Have a Question for Us?
Do you have a question about BNSF or rail in the Pacific Northwest that you would like addressed in future issues of Inside Track? Send them to [email protected].