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The BNSF Railway Company is the principal operating subsidiary of parent company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the railroad's parent company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

The Illinois Central Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS), two of the five "small" Class Is, announced on July 19 that the former would buy the latter, On February 7, 1995, BN and ATSF heads Gerald Grinstein and Robert D.

Ownership of a short connection between Waxahachie and Dallas also went from UP to BNSF.

UP, in return, got a few short sections of trackage rights over BNSF, mainly connecting the SP at Chemult to the UP at Bend, Oregon, and connecting the SP at Mojave, California with existing UP rights on ATSF at Barstow, California.

The Interstate Commerce Commission denied a proposed merger with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the 1980s. Its main lines included Chicago-Seattle with branches to Texas (ex-Burlington) and Montgomery, Alabama (ex-Frisco), and access to the low-sulfur coal of Wyoming's Powder River Basin. The long-rumored announcement was delayed by a disagreement over the disposition of Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, a gold mining subsidiary that ATSF agreed to sell to stockholders.

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.

BNSF trains traveled over 169 million miles (272 million km) in 2010, more than any other North American railroad.

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