• Did BN roster any steam locomotives for excursions?

  • Discussion relating to the BN, and its predecessors GN, NP, CB&Q, SP&S, SL-SF, and their subsidiaries. Visit the Friends of the Burlington Northern for more information.
Discussion relating to the BN, and its predecessors GN, NP, CB&Q, SP&S, SL-SF, and their subsidiaries. Visit the Friends of the Burlington Northern for more information.
  by atsf sp
Was there any steam locomotives rostered during the BN as excursion locos or other purposes? Did any survive from the lines consolidated into the BN?
  by westr
Burlington Northern never ran any steam excursions using its own steam locomotives and I am pretty certain that they were all gone from the merger roads before the merger. CB&Q maintained a few steam locomotives into the 60s for excursion service but this ended before the merger and I think they were all disposed of before the merger. This sad story explains what happened to some of them. I used to hear rumors that one of the CB&Q engines was still in storage at West Burlington after the merger and BN scrapped it, but I don't think they were true. GN, NP and SP&S weren't as sentimental as CB&Q and got rid of all their steam long before the merger, though there are of course a number of surviving engines that were donated to cities and museums or were otherwise preserved.
  by CarterB
In late 60's when I move to Chicago from college, I can remember many, many CB&Q locos at a scrap dealer on the SW side of Chicago (don't remember exact location) Most still had bells, whistles, builder plates, etc. but I didn't have the $$$ to buy any of the 'accessories' at the time. There were still a few steam excursions being run, but only one I was able to go on was with a Southern (1501??) steamer on the Rock out to Bureau and back.
  by kalvingp30fan
They technicly had steam locomotives on there roster, They had some small fireless steam engines they used at tow of there tie plants. I read about it in a Railfan & Railroad magizine from 1979 I think.
  by wigwagfan
In 2000 the SP 4449 was repainted in a solid black scheme and wore BNSF decals, with no painted indication of its Southern Pacific heritage. This was for a BNSF Employee Appreciation special.

However the locomotive was not acquired by BNSF; shortly thereafter the locomotive was repainted. Today it is in the red-and-orange Daylight scheme, with the original late 1930s "Southern Pacific Lines" lettering near the top of the tender.
  by wjstix
IIRC the first BN president was the CB&Q president who had ended the Burlington's steam excursion program in the mid-late sixties.
  by GN 599
Otto Vondrak wrote:SP&S 700 has been restored and is based out of Portland, Oregon. But it was never BN property.


Actually the BN sponsored several trips with the SP&S in the early 90's. They broke it in between Portland and Longview WA and hosted the return to steam trips on the former SP&S between Portland and Wishram WA and trips between Portland and Astoria OR. But Otto is correct it was never BN property.
  by rwk
I read that BN "banned" steam for most of it's existence until they started to allow very limited steam movements. That was a big problem with getting steam power to Vancouver, B.C. in 1986 for Expo '86, BN wouldn't allow any steam on it's own wheels for any reason at the time similar to CSX today prohibiting the movement of steam locomotives and historic rail equipment such as anything friction bearing. I'm pretty sure there were almost zero public railfan trips on BN in the 70's and 80's. They probably were only interested in moving freight and making money back then, and railfans meant nothing to them. They did have a business train, made up of old GN or NP cars, repainted into BN, there were HO scale versions I remember, and they operated some Chicago commuter services with bi-level coaches and E9 diesels. Now, BNSF seems to be open to steam, but by their rules. Any steam on BNSF probably has to be Amtrak certified and approved by BNSF to run and pull excursionists.
  by wjstix
Well the seventies / eighties was the time BN earned it's nickname of "Big Nasty"....

I believe the trackage around the engine house in Minneapolis where Milwaukee Road 261 is kept is owned by the Friends of 261 but used on occassion by BNSF, and that the Friends and BNSF have a very good relationship.