"Most men who have really lived have had, in some shape, their great adventure. This railway is mine."--James J. Hill
"Others also found their great adventure with Great Northern--thousands of dedicated, loyal employees spent their working careers in service of the company."--John Budd, president of the Great Northern Railway
Burlington Northern (BN) formed from the merger of four long-affiliated railways that shared James J. Hill and John Budd's spirit of railroading as a great adventure. Still, the move required complex planning and implementation programs. Soon after "M-day," the electric-power industry summoned BN to transport immense amounts of low-sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming and Montana across thousands of miles of BN rail lines. To cope with the unexpected but exciting demand, the company hired and trained thousands of workers to improve the railroad, increase its capacity with a much larger fleet of coal-hauling cars and locomotives, construct new lines, build new sidings, add miles of double track, and upgrade thousands of miles of existing track to meet higher standards. In just a few years, BN lines were handling the highest tonnages of any railroad lines in the world--past or present. Burlington Northern: A Great Adventure, 1970-1979, the first in a two-volume series, covers this important decade.