September 2021 • The latest from Montana & Wyoming
Taking Railway History for a Spin: Turntables Have Been a ‘Round’ Since the 1830s
Turntables aren’t just for records! In fact, they were used for locomotives long before they were spinning your favorite classics. Use of turntables to turn locomotives dates back to the 1830s, many years before the phonograph was invented in 1877. Record players may have since been replaced with media players and mobile devices, but turntables on the railroad remain in rotation.
The earliest use for a turntable was to redirect trains. The very first locomotives could only run in one direction, so a device was needed to turn them. Even with bi-directional trains today, turntables are still used as a convenient means for moving locomotives and other equipment onto tracks headed in the correct direction.
BNSF Railway Recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for Women 2021
Forbes recently released their list of best employers for women, and BNSF Railway ranks in the top ten of American employers. BNSF has demonstrated support for female talent through several programs. For example, because the railroad was on the front lines of the pandemic delivering critical supplies, work demand and shift schedules created challenges for some women. To address this, BNSF invested in new benefits, including breast-milk shipping. The railroad is also a leader in the industry when it comes to women in top positions. BNSF named Kathryn Farmer CEO in September 2020, making her the first woman to helm a major North American railway.
To compile the list of best employers for women, Statista surveyed 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees, including 30,000 women.
The BNSF Railway Foundation invests in the communities across the 28 states through which BNSF operates, and where BNSF employees live, work and volunteer. Recent donations include:
Protecting Montana Lands for Agriculture, Wildlife, and Open Space
The Montana Land Reliance partners with private landowners to permanently protect agricultural lands, fish and wildlife habitat and open space. A recent grant from the BNSF Railway Foundation will further the organization’s work. The lasting benefits of Montana Land Reliance’s work include the perpetuation of a lifestyle and an economy that rely on responsibly managed private land and increasingly valuable Montana open spaces that will continue to nourish the spirit of future generations.
Boosting Support for Flathead Valley Nonprofits
Whitefish Community Foundation in Whitefish, MT has been helping donors make smart giving decisions and nonprofits become more effective since 2000. BNSF Railway Foundation recently contributed to the 2021 Great Fish Community Challenge, an annual giving campaign benefiting Flathead Valley Nonprofits. Whitefish Community Foundation provides a percentage match on the first $20,000 raised by each participating nonprofit. This annual collaborative event has raised over $13 million in just six years to benefit more than 70 local charities.
Fostering Global Understanding in Montana Classrooms
The Montana World Affairs Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering global understanding and awareness in Montana’s communities and classrooms. Over the past two decades, the Council has hosted or co-sponsored hundreds of community and school programs across the state. The BNSF Railway Foundation donated toward programs such as Academic WorldQuest which, since 2005, has provided over 3,000 Montana students with an immersive global experience and the opportunity to engage in a wide range of interactive, international education programs.