From Grant, my Nebraska correspondent, back on May 30th of this year (yes, I’m a little behind):

GRANT: One my way home from work Wednesday, I got to see another red/silver Santa Fe engine North of Fremont as well as a dark green, red and cream BNSF. I also got to see the Union Pacific (former C&NW) 6707. It is very odd. The side of the engine has no U.P. markings, only the Operation Lifesaver graphics. The front of the engine actually has the Union Pacific logo placed over top on the C&NW one. It doesn’t completely cover it, so you can still see the sides of the C&NW logo peeking out.

ME: Are these the BNSF colors you were seeing?

GRANT: Yep, that’s it. I actually see quite a few of those green and cream ones around here.

ME: Here is Union Pacific 6707 with a great shot of the Union Pacific logo covering the Chicago and North Western. Here it is leading a coal train on a YouTube video.

The colors of of the dark green, red and cream on the ex-BN EMD SD70MACs are actually that of the “BN Executive” paint scheme coming from the shops a few months before the merger was final in 1995.

The BNSF Railway paint schemes thereafter are hard to keep track of. There is a good portion of the Wikipedia article devoted to the subject with some example pictures, but even that is hard to follow. It seems that the colors and logo were so in flux during the early years of the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe merger that there wasn’t any clear direction on color and design other than trying to maintain an idea of heritage. The orange and green influences of the Heritage paint schemes is a flash back to the Great Northern scheme in the early 1960s.

It is also interesting to note that the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railway officially changed its name to just “BNSF Railway” in 2005. This follows along with the idea that 3M is no longer Minnesota Mining and Minerals and AT&T is no longer Atlantic Telephone and Telegraph, they are just letters.

Not the paint scheme Grant saw, but this is an example of the "Heritage III" introduced in 2005 with the new BNSF logo.


Great Northern 400 Hustle Muscle at the Jackson Street Roundhouse in St. Paul. Scheme look a little familiar? The BNSF Heritage I and II also draw the green top and orange.


About Chad Leigh Kluck

Originally from Nebraska, I am a history and railroad enthusiast currently living near Saint Paul, Minnesota. I enjoy trains, photography, and nostalgic memories, as well as the history of transportation, agriculture, eateries, breweries, and railroad towns. More...

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