NTX Magazine Volume 4 - Page 24

feature story Railroads Born of Need The legacy of BNSF in Fort Worth can be traced back to the year 1880, when Fort Worth was a frontier town of about 9,000 people and Texas had a rail network of approximately 700 miles. Former Kansas politician Col. Warren H.H. Lawrence had moved to the city in 1868, bringing with him an interest in railroads. He visualized a route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains and even introduced a bill to the Texas Legislature encouraging a connection with any Colorado railroad. Though the bill was vetoed, Lawrence continued to pursue his goal and, working with other leading citizens, he drew up a charter for the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway Company, which became effective May 26, 1873. The charter specified that the company would build and operate a line at or near Fort Worth, where it would form a junction with the Texas and Pacific and head northwest, in the direction of Denver. Construction began in 1881. The BNSF of today is the culmination of years of pioneering spirit and determination by the kind of entrepreneurs who set22 www.ntc-dfw.org TOP: BNSF Railway continues to roll out new, more fuel-efficient engines. CENTER: In 2013, rail saw increased demand from a recovering economy. tled the western U.S. The oldest of the BNSF predecessors were both founded in 1849: the Aurora Branch Line and the Pacific Railroad of Missouri. The youngest predecessor in the BNSF family tree is the Burlington Northern Railroad (BN), which was created in 1970 with the merger of five other railroads, and, in 1980, the Frisco was added to the BN. Winter/Spring 2015 “ Berkshire’s $34 billion investment in BNSF is a huge bet on that company and the railroad industry.” – Warren Buffett But BNSF is far from being a collection of times gone by. Instead, the railway and its predecessors have a history of innovation that has moved progress through the decades. For example, Santa Fe developed the first land-bridge container train, linking Asia with Europe using connecting rail lines in the eas