Today, BNSF’s network includes an impressive 32,500+ route miles. That didn’t happen overnight. It’s thanks to hardworking men and women from our predecessor lines, including the Great Northern Railway (GN). On Jan. 6, 1893, rail workers celebrated the placement of the last spike of the GN Pacific extension near Scenic, Washington. The completion of this 1,816-mile transcontinental line was an achievement Seattle boosters and civic leaders had dreamed of for decades. Work on the Pacific extension began on Oct. 20, 1890, in Havre, Montana. By the end of the summer of 1893, regular service solidified the link between Seattle and the East. A small crowd let out a mighty cheer when the first GN passenger train departed the Seattle depot on June 18 for its inaugural 69-hour trip to St. Paul. This route continues to be a key part of BNSF’s network and a proud part of our company’s rich heritage. We are honored to be one of the top transporters of products and materials that help feed, clothe, supply, and power communities across the U.S. and beyond.

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