November 2008

                                              BNSF’s greatest assets are its employees who successfully do their jobs safely and efficiently
                                         every day.
                                              Scott Corr, conductor; Gerald Gompert, brakeman; and Howard Jensen, locomotive engineer,
                                         are three such assets. They make up the road/switch crew in Scottsbluff helping further strengthen
                                         BNSF and Western Sugar’s partnership.
                                              “I rarely receive calls from Western Sugar and when I do, it is to thank me for the good service
                                         we provide,” said Eldon Offutt, Angora Valley Subdivision trainmaster. “This crew really takes great
                                         ownership and pride in what they do to provide outstanding customer service.”
                                              The Scottsbluff facility, which boasts BNSF’s greatest volume among Scottsbluff industries,
                                         requires a daily switch. Corr conducts a daily yard check on the Scottsbluff facility’s outbound track
                                         and switches when needed.
                                              Of the Scottsbluff facility’s eight industry tracks, able to hold approximately 100 cars, three
                                         tracks are used for coal storage, one to load and unload coal and the remaining are used for other
   ABOVE: Since Scott                                                                     commodities.
   C o r r, c o n d u c t o r,                                                                 On Tuesday and Thursday, the crew
                                                                                          switches the Mitchell Plant and on Wednesday
   joined the Scottsbluff
   ro a d/s w i t c h c rew
   Jan. 21, they have                                                                     and Friday they switch the Bayard Plant.
   remained injury free
   through constant com-
                                                                                               Corr said if the industry needs something, they
   munication and by                                                                      do what they can to address and resolve the issue
   following the rules.                                                                   immediately.
   RIGHT: Howard Jens-
   en, left, locomotive                                                                        “We have good communication with them — let-
   engineer, and Jerry                                                                    ting each other know if and when freight is coming,”
                                                                                          Corr said. “Without the communication some cars
   Gompert, brakeman,
   S c o t t s b l u f f ro a d/
   switc h c rew mem -                                                                    would be left sitting without the proper handling and
   bers, reliably perform
   regular, daily freight
   switches and provide                                                                        Just as important, since at least Jan. 21, when Corr
   qualit y customer                                                                      joined the group, they have remained injury free. He
   ser vice at Western
   Sugar’s Scottsbluff                                                                    said they strive to elude complacency through daily
   facility.                                                                              job briefings and by following the rules.

                    new double main                            TO THE RESCUE                                    RFEs APLENTY
                                                               for the love of animals

                                    4-5                                            12                               22-23

                                   Pg.                                         Pg.                               Pg.
                                                        Powder River Reflection

A Sweet Partnership
     As one of BNSF’s biggest clients in Scottsbluff, Western           The Western Sugar Cooperative has 135,000 base acres
Sugar knows they can depend on BNSF to get the job done             spread across four states with additional facilities in Lovell,
safely and efficiently. BNSF transports Western Sugar’s             Wyo., Billings, Mont., and Fort Morgan, Colo.
products throughout the nation.                                         The company originated in 1901 in Loveland as the Great
     “Our sugar cars go everywhere — Utah, California — it          Western Sugar Company. In 2002, it was bought by more than
is endless,” said Randy Taylor, Western Sugar Cooperative.          1,000 sugar beet growers in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming
“We ship wherever our customers are and wherever sugar is           and Montana to form The Western Sugar Cooperative.
     The relationship requires coordination, good communica-
tion, dedicated service and timely, calculated movements.
     According to Taylor, during campaign season, September
to February, BNSF transports between 50 and 75 coal cars
per week from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin to Nebraska’s
Scottsbluff plant. The coal is used to power the cooperative’s
     That is only one facet of the partnership.
     BNSF delivers cars of limestone, which Western Sugar
uses in the sugar beet refining process. BNSF transports raw
and finished products from the Scottsbluff plant to warehouse
facilities in Bayard, Neb., and Mitchell, S.D.
     BNSF also ships loads of raw molasses to the Scottsbluff
facility and redistributes loads of refined molasses.
     “We are absolutely pleased with the customer service
BNSF provides,” Taylor said. “We couldn’t have built a
stronger relationship based on customer service. I have con-
tacts with BNSF on all levels and they consistently
do a great job.”

                    BNSF and Western Sugar Cooperative in
                    Scottsbluff work closely to further strength-
                    en their already thriving relationship.

                                          Powder River Reflection

Yardmasters Instrumental
In TSS Xpress Success
     Months after implementing a new Transportation
Support System in Guernsey, the program receives rave
reviews. Yardmasters agree it is an improvement on the
previous system.
     Todd Kauffman, Guernsey trainmaster, said yardmas-
ters have been instrumental in making the new systems
a success. To make it work, he said, Barney Barthel,
Michelle Barthel, Cody Conner, Mike Klipstine and
Larry Sydow have enacted useful and innovative policies.
     “It has to be a team effort by everybody,” Barney
     Barney has a 100 percent utilization rate for the new
system, Kauffman said, and the other yardmasters are close.
Likewise, Michelle and Conner, who come from a greater        Yardmasters Mike Klipstine, left, and Cody Conner

computer background, have been helpful in making the
transition smooth as everyone adjusts, he said.
     The new system computerizes information into an
easily accessible format that allows users to provide more
information than they might have with the previous system,
Sydow said.
     Klipstine said the new system allows for more infor-
mation storage, which has improved communication.
     “It’s simpler and more user-friendly,” he said.
     Sydow said he and colleagues have noticed improve-
ments with the new system. Since implementation, he said
there has been an 80 percent increase in crews on time and    Yardmasters Michelle Barthel, left, and Larry Sydow
a 50 percent improvement in crews on train time within
30 minutes.
     There is also a 15 percent increase in freight and 10
percent overall increase in coal train performance goals,
he said.
     Sydow attributes the success to the yardmasters’ ac-
ceptance of the system change with a good attitude and
setting goals to reach along the way.

                                                              Yardmaster Barney Barthel

Locomotive Engineer Certification
    Powder River Division recently       engineer when the program was of-                   injury free by being aware of his
welcomed three new locomotive en-        fered at his home terminal. He looks                surroundings.
gineers, as Roger Buchleiter, Kenneth    forward to the responsibility.                          Sherman joined the railroad in
Linn and James Sherman finished 20           Linn has been a conductor since                 March 2006. He has served as an
weeks of training.                       May 2005. After time spent in                       engineer several times since complet-
    Buchleiter, a four-year conductor,   Denver, he wanted to get back to his                ing certification. He has worked two
jumped at the chance to become an        hometown of Sterling. Linn stays                    years injury free by following rules.
                                                                                        Truck Driver Chris Bradford, standing left, and Sectionmen
                                                                                        Ryan Murphy, Roberto Villalpando, Javier Lara, Park Apo-
                                          P o w d e r R i v e r R e f l e c t i o n daca, kneeling left, and Tyrone Hooks.

New Double Main
     In June, new construction crews, led by Foremen Brian
Prickett and Randy Shaffer, began transforming 10 miles of
                                                                    ment detectors and upgraded two control points at
                                                                    Bridger Junction to gated crossings.
single track, part of the Canyon, Casper and Orin subdivi-              Signalmen constantly identify risks such as operating the
sions, into a double main.                                          boom truck, handling oversized bungalows and working on
     Maintenance of Way teams installed approximately               and adjacent to live track.
100,000 concrete ties, 10 miles of double track, four No. 24            “We use all types of protection and track authority — job
switches and a No. 20 switch. Crews also eliminated three           briefings, lookouts, track windows, Form Bs — to remain
No. 20 switches and switches at West Bona, Bridger and East         safe,” said Rory Larson, signal foreman.
     Upon projected November comple-
tion, formerly bottlenecked traffic travel-
ing on single track, from approximately
Milepost 123.1 to Milepost 133.2, will be
     The project involved seven bridges.
One was a highway bridge and a second
was a river bridge, both more than 300 feet
in length.
     Dave Zaiser ’s destressing crew
destressed rail to 105 degrees to ensure
track reliability.
     Two surfacing gangs, several signal
crews and numerous contractors also con-
tributed to make the project a success.
     About 30 signalmen installed one
hotbox, eight bungalows, 14 standard
switches, 14 switch heaters, four inter-
mediate signals, four dragging equip-
                                                               Powder River Reflection

                                                                                                Kelley Kisser, left, and Ryan Kriz, assistant signalmen, stencil identifying information
                                                                                                on a switch heater.

Dave Zaiser’s destressing crew includes Nic Massine, standing left; Ryan Tucker; Andrew
Hoesche; Ruben Mancias; Dave Zaiser, kneeling left; Shayne Larsen, Scott Woods and
Mark Boggs.

                                                                                                Ryan Kriz, left, and Kelley Kisser, assistant signalmen, stencil identifying information
                                                                                                on a switch heater.

New track construction crew members winterize and clean debris from a switch.

Mike Rodriguez, left, signalman; Ryan Kriz, assistant signalman; Kelley Kisser, assistant   5   Signalmen Stuart Skibicki, standing left; Paco Rodriguez; Ben Harmon; Darrell Winn;
signalman; and Dan Cottrell, assistant signalman.                                               Roy Perrine, kneeling left; Michael Haught and D.J. Hladky.
                                                      Powder River Reflection

  Powell Passionate About Life, Railroad
         Life can change in the blink of                  “I just have to adapt to a new envi- ment challenges him daily to keep
   an eye.                                           ronment,” Powell said. “It is most dif- control of the many facets of the job
         That is what happened to Brandon            ficult to watch my family deal with my including safety. He advises new hires
   Powell, who joined the railroad Feb. 28,          new situation. I’ve learned not to take to be ready to learn, use every day as a
   2005, as an Alliance carman.                      life lightly and or get upset over minor new learning experience, keep their eyes
         He was involved in a one-car roll-          things.”                                              and ears open and take life in stride.
   over accident July 30, 2005.                           After a combined three months                         Prior to the railroad, Powell worked
         Powell was returning home from              at Lincoln’s Madonna Rehabilitation small construction jobs as a handyman
   carman training in Kansas City, pulling a         Center and Denver’s Craig Hospital, he in Lincoln.
   trailer behind his vehicle, when a passing        returned to BNSF May 7, and qualified                      He has been married to his wife,
   semi-trailer’s winds caused the trailer to        as a yardmaster in Alliance Sept. 19.                 Kristin, since 2001. They have three
   sway and Powell to lose control.                       Although it has been a bumpy road children, Tyler, 15, Neo, 5, and Dax, 3.
         He broke his lower back and neck in         getting back to work, Powell said the                      In his free time, Powell likes
   multiple places.                                  railroad has always been supportive.                  designing, engineering, welding and
         Powell is now a quadriplegic as all              “It is a big relief for me,” he said. “I deer hunting.
   four limbs were affected by the accident.         am still viable.”
                       His upper extremities are          As Extra Board
                          weakened and he has        third-shift yardmaster,
                            had several surgeries    Powell controls the flow
                             on his hands as a       of inbound and outbound
                             result. He attends      trains through the termi-
                             physical therapy        nal, as well as organizes
                             once per week, and      power modifications, in-
                            said he will never be    spections and switching
                          done with recovery.        of trains.
                               Despite the life-          He said the best as-
                        changing event,              pect of his job is the feel-
Brandon Powell, Extra
Board third shift yard-
master in Alliance      Powell’s life is not about   ing that something is ac-
                        his disability, rather       complished every day.           Brandon Powell, left, new Extra Board third-shift yardmaster in Alliance since
   his ability.                                           Powell’s new assign- Sept. 19, receives guidance from Val McCabe, terminal trainmaster.

      Stu Hissam, Alliance locomotive engineer, and his
  wife, Sandy, had to think and act quickly Oct. 5 when
  they encountered a sudden car fire.
      Without hesitation, the Hissams helped Michael
  Campbell and Laura Leininger of Omaha exit the burning
  vehicle safely and salvage most of their belongings.
      The Hissams were behind the Campbell vehicle
  when they spotted fire burning underneath the car and
  quickly approached the inhabitants as the fire burst into
  the interior.
      The couple, who were uninjured, are grateful for
  the Hissam’s kindness and generosity. Campbell and
  Leininger were returning from a weekend vaca-
  tion in the Black Hills.

                                                                                                               It is not every day in Alliance that you drive down the
                                                                                                               road and encounter a car fire. Oct. 5, Stu Hissam,
                                                                                                                             locomotive engineer, and his wife, Sandy,
                                                                              6                                                    did just that.
                                                              Powder River Reflection

                                                                       John Zochol
Farewell Retirees......

     In February, Denny Kintner, con-
ductor, not pictured, retired from the
railroad. October retirees John Wood
and Rod Coulter, locomotive engi-
neers, and Linda Stitt, crew hauler, fol-
lowed in Kintner’s footsteps. Powder                               John Zochol, conductor, made his                   He joined the Chicago, Burlington
River Division colleagues and friends                         last trip in a BNSF locomotive Aug. 22 & Quincy Railroad in October 1968
wish them a happy, healthy, fulfilling                        after nearly four decades of injury-free as a switchman/brakeman. He be-
retirement.                                                   service.                                        came a conductor in April 1973. He
                                                                   He credits his safety record, void of enjoyed the non-routine schedule of
                                                              any rules violations or associated service the railroad and variety in his job.
                                                              interruptions, to co-workers.                           In retirement, Zochol plans to spend
                                                                    “You cannot do it by yourself,” said his time with his nine grandchildren, lo-
                                                              Zochol.                                         cated in Rapid City, S.D.; Austin, Texas;
                                                                   He always remained aware of his and Omaha.
                                                              surroundings and accepted advice.                       He has been married to his wife,
                                                              Similarly, he advises new hires to do Rae, since 1970.
                                                              the same.                                               Zochol also will fill his days with
                                                                   “There is a chance they may know woodworking and yard work.
                                                              something you don’t and be
                                                              able to help you perform your
                                                              job easier and keep you safe,”
ABOVE: John Wood, left,                                       Zochol said.
                                                                   He identifies safety as one
Rod Coulter and Linda Stitt
celebrate their October re-
tirements with colleagues                                     of the most positive changes
and friends.
                                                              he has seen in the industry. He
                                                              said the industry is much more
                                                              safety conscious.
                                                                   Zochol, born and raised in
                                                              Alliance, served as an airplane
                                                              refueler in the U.S. Air Force
                                                              from 1964 to 1968 stationed in
                                                              Texas, South Carolina, Alaska, his Aug. 31 retirement. Deb Hunter, right, Alliance trainmaster, presents
John Wood, top, Rod Coulter, left, and Linda Stitt, right,                                        John Zochol, left, conductor, closes the book on his railroad career at

                                                              Germany and New Mexico.
receive retirement clocks from Kathy Straight, director
administration, right.                                                                            Zochol with a retirement clock to commemorate his career.

    Knutson Promoted
         Cory Knutson’s railroad career began in                        building and facility work across not only the
    Billings as a draftsman.                                            Montana Division, but also the Powder River
         He moved around the Montana Division,                          Division.
    and more than 18 years later, a promotion                                Knutson assumed his new role June 16
    to Structures manager brought him back to                           following 13 years as supervisor of Structures
    where he started.                                                   in Glendive.
         “I’ve made the rounds,” Knutson said.                               “I’m glad to take on this role and help the
    “It’s good to be back in Billings, though. I                        company accommodate its needs,” Knutson
    like the town.”                                                     said. “I’m looking forward to working on
         As Structures manager, Knutson oversees                        two divisions to ensure the reliability of our
    maintenance capital planning and all bridge,                        bridges and structures.”
                                                                             Cory Knutson, Structures manager out of Billings since June 16
                                                                             will now influence the Powder River and Montana divisions.

                                          Powder River Reflection

Night vision, quick action
     The alert, attentive, quick actions of Randy Peterson,              “When the trainmen made the report, I was taken
Casper conductor, and Steve Zurn, Casper locomotive                 aback,” Rickabaugh said. “I kept the spotlight ahead of
engineer, were forefront July 28 in saving a youth’s life.          him so he could see, as it was nearly 1:30 a.m. It was
However, their efforts wouldn’t have been successful                unbelievable and a relief to find him safe.”
without the presence and teamwork of Ron Rickabaugh,                     He asked the boy what he was doing by the tracks
Douglas night shift signal maintainer.                              away from home and the boy said he was “running away
     As they headed through Douglas in a poorly-lit,                from home.”
sparsely populated area, Peterson and Zurn sounded the                   He told Rickabaugh he loves trains and likes the
locomotive’s whistle and watched for cars at the crossing           tracks.
ahead.                                                                   However, the child wouldn’t share his personal infor-
     Peterson’s alertness paid off.                                 mation, so Rickabaugh called 911.
     He saw something fouling the tracks but couldn’t tell               All parties involved learned the child was thought to
what it was until the train got closer, still traveling about       be secure in his bedroom for the night but found a way to
25 mph.                                                             defeat his home’s door alarm and leave.
     “There the kid was,” Peterson said.                                 “I experienced the helplessness a train crew knows
     “You are focused watching for certain things as you go         when they encounter something like this,” Peterson said.
along and to have something like a child show up, it tends          “It is amazing the imprint on your mind that occurs when
to get your blood pumping a little faster and compound              you have a close call like this. It is surely an instant that
your alertness and awareness,” Peterson said. “I try to             sticks in your mind.”
be as alert as possible, as much as possible, as often as
      The train crew reported the incident to
Rickabaugh, who pulled up to the crossing on his
nightly rounds moments before.
     The child, about 8, was about 200 yards south
of the Robbin Lane crossing squatting on the
end of the ties in the midst of ballast and shrubs,
covering his ears.
     “At the last minute, he jumped away,”
Peterson said. “It was real close, within a few
     Rickabaugh immediately turned on his signal
truck’s spotlight.
     When the back end of the train passed,
                                                                                                           Ron Rickabaugh, Douglas signal maintainer,
the barefooted youngster was walking toward                                                              works the night shift and was in the right place
Rickabaugh and the light, in pajamas.                                       at the right time July 28 for one young boy who stumbled onto the tracks.

      Alliance                               Approximately 100 Alliance
                                         Terminal employees have remained
                                                                                                 “I attribute most, if not all, of our
                                                                                            success to our site safety team, to our
                                         injury free throughout 2008.                       local chairmen and the involvement of
Safety On The                                Frank Bennet, Alliance superin-                scheduled employees,” he said. “We
                                         tendent of operations, boasted of his              try to recognize and celebrate our suc-
   Right Track                           team leading the system with a related
                                         frequency ratio of .20.
                                                                                            cesses. We want to share how we are
                                                                                            doing and apply positive pressure.”

                                              Powder River Reflection
                                                                                                     Through diligent, dedicated work, Powder River
                                                                                                     Division employees are meeting record volume
                                                                                                     traffic demands, but not without the vast joint line
                                                                                                     and help of southern region train crews.

Added Manpower, Joint Line Boost Operations
     In September, 43 temporary transfer     helped,” said Frank Bennett, Alliance            monthly record of 54.1 trains per day
conductors/switchmen from throughout         superintendent operations.                       was set in November 2007. September’s
southern parts of the system relocated            While it is clear the increased man-        average gained more than two trains a
to Alliance and Gillette. They assisted      power boosted operations, BNSF’s joint           day from the 52.4 trains per day loaded
Powder River train crews in meeting          line also had a significant impact.              in September 2007.
record volume traffic demands for coal            BNSF loaded a monthly record                    Year-to-date through September,
shipments.                                   24.1 million tons of coal in the Powder          BNSF loaded 204 million tons of coal in
     The transfers also helped the Powder    River Basin in September, breaking the           the PRB, up 2.6 percent from the 198.8
River Division make up for lost coal         previous record of 24.0 million tons set         million tons loaded through the same
shipments during recent floods through-      in August. The latest tonnage loaded             period in 2007.
out the Midwest.                             was well ahead of the 23.2 million tons              BNSF has loaded a total daily av-
     As a result, a record number of 90      loaded in September 2007.                        erage of 51 trains per day in the PRB
trains moved through the Alliance ter-            BNSF also loaded a monthly re-              through September 2008, compared with
minal Oct. 4.                                cord average 54.8 coal trains per day            an average of 49.7 trains per day loaded
     “The increase in manpower really        in the PRB in September; the previous            through the same period in 2007.

Bighorn Sub Consolidated
Maintenance Program
     Approximately 250 employees comprising two tie gangs,               focused on the job at hand and operate through teamwork,”
TP08 and TP11; two undercutter gangs, UC05 and UC06;                     Kinzel said.
and one steel gang, RP11, began maintenance throughout the                    The project was about halfway complete when crews were
Bighorn Subdivision in June as part of the consolidated main-            displaced, including SC30, due to flooding in Iowa, which
tenance program.                                                         hindered progress more than a month. During that time, re-
     “It was overwhelming and breathtaking to see that many              cord traffic traversed the Bighorn Subdivision, Milepost 599
employees and that much equipment in one place,” said Bob                to Milepost 829, because of the massive re-routes.
Kinzel, Dickinson roadmaster. “We had to prioritize and stra-                 Kinzel said other than the reroutes, crews remained on
tegically place support crews accordingly.”                              schedule and the project was concluded under budget.
     Sheridan Roadmaster Stan Alles’ crews successfully in-                   “All my people have done a phenomenal job,” Alles said.
stalled 27,000 ties, 133,000 feet of rail and undercut 15 miles of       “We’ve had to juggle rail detectors as well as our regular work
track, by the scheduled September completion date and without            schedules. We have persevered. We have a job to do, so we
major incident or injury.                                                do it.”
     The project is expected to have far-reaching impact.                     Section crews removed detector car defects and completed
     “This will solidify our infrastructure, shorten slow orders         additional thermite welds.
and increase velocity along the entire Bighorn Sub,” Alles                    Peripheral crews — a maintenance crew from Essex,
said.                                                                    Mont., and two switch composite crews responsible for switch
     Crews conquered the project’s challenges through com-               maintenance — played a large role in the progress.
mitment, persistence and teamwork.                                            Other key players to success were Kinzel, who spearheaded
     “You need to keep everyone cut in, make sure they stay                                                                     Continued on Page 11

                                                Powder River Reflection

Retiree Grein
     Donnie Grein retired as a conductor        recovering from June 19 knee reconstruc-       doing,” he said
July 1 in Alliance, Neb., after 30 years with   tion surgery.
the railroad.                                        “Recovery is going well,” he said. “I’m
     Grein remained a conductor through-        in the last stages of physical therapy.”
out his career because he enjoyed the                After he recuperates, Grein plans to
travel and daily challenges.                    work on odd jobs around his house in
     “There was normally something dif-         Chadron.
ferent every day no matter what you did,”            He advises new hires to pay attention
he said.                                        to their surroundings to stay safe.            Donnie Grein, right, Chadron conductor, bid farewell
                                                                                               July 1 to Larry Snyder, Alliance trainmaster, and his
     Since retiring, Grein has been                  “Keep your mind on what you’re            30-year railroad career.

                                                                             In August, Douglas track forces and new construction
                                                                         crews replaced antiquated switches, original swing nose frogs
                                                                         and installed new crossovers and 1,500 feet of rail at Converse
                                                                         Junction, Milepost 65.5.
                                                                             “We can’t maintain these anymore because we can’t get
                                                                         parts for them,” said Roger Busskohl, track inspector.

   Converse Junction                                                         Two of the seven turnouts are additions to the control
                                                                         point, and five are replacement turnouts.

   Improvements                                                              Effective signal cutover took place Aug. 13, with all
                                                                         switches independently controlled.

voice Recognition Capabilities In Customers’ Hands
   A new Voice Customer Recognition process being imple-                 customers to pre-release unit coal trains on command through
mented throughout the Powder River Division allows BNSF                  the Web or via phone with one contact.
                                                                                                            Voice recognition capabilities
                                                                                                      are in the customers’ hands.
                                                                                                            Customers dictate a desig-
                                                                                                      nated timeframe to notify pertinent
                                                                                                      parties about the availability of
                                                                                                      trains for pickup.
                                                                                                            BNSF’s goal is to have the
                                                                                                      crew at the utility when the train is
                                                                                                      ready to be released. Ultimately,
                                                                                                      the process will eliminate multiple
                                                                                                      calls from the utility to BNSF for
                                                                                                      multiple notifications and multiple
                                                                                                      calls from BNSF to the utility to
                                                                                                      determine statuses.
                                                                                                            The utility also has the abil-
                                                                                                      ity to make changes or cancel the
                                                                                                      original pre-release notification,
                                                                                                      again with only one contact. With
                                                                                                      each update, notifications are
                                                                                                      recorded on a distribution list and
                                                                                                      immediately visible to BNSF on
                                                                                                      the Web in TSS.

                                                                        Powder River Reflection

      ENgINEERINg EMPLOYEES                                                                                          Maintenance
          Crews led by Chris Yeoman, Butte                             communication and thanks employees
                                                                                                                     Continued from Page 9

                                                                                                                     the project, and various road-
      Subdivision roadmaster, strive daily for                         daily for another safe day.                   masters including Daryl Braun,
      another safe, injury-free day.                                       “I remind them to stay focused, con-      Carl Carlson, Bruce Criswell,
          Working side by side, the Crawford                           tinue making safe decisions and take the      Sheri Ellis, Terry Gilson, Kent
      east and west sections crews, Crawford                           time necessary to get the job done safely,”   Roberts, Bill Shoemake and Pat
      lubricator foreman, Butte Sub surfacing                          he said. “They are a very conscientious       Yauney.
      gang, three track inspectors, Crawford                           group. I learn something new from these            “It took a lot of planning and
      maintenance gang, two groups of frog                             crews every day.”                             coordination to make the project
      welders and a joint elimination gang,                                With numerous decades of experi-          happen,” Kinzel said. “It took
      accumulated 1,959 days injury free as of                         ence, he said his crews are hard to talk to   everyone’s efforts and input to
      Oct. 27.                                                         about safety. With nearly 31 years service,   execute successfully.”
          “They make safe decisions, have                              Yeoman has the lowest seniority.                    In preparation for the proj-
      always had work-safe attitudes and are al-                           “If I provide the tools to do the job,    ect, Kinzel scheduled and con-
      ways talking safety,” Yeoman said. “They                         they take care of themselves,” he said.       ducted conference calls and
      take care of one another, find safer ways                        “You can automatically see safety is at       ensured equipment, support
      to do tasks and mentor new people.”                              work. This group is special. They are the     and personnel were “in the right
          To fuel safety, he exercises open                            best at what they do.”                        places at the right times.”
                                                                                                                          Throughout the project, he

What makes you a safe employee?

                                                                                                                     conducted daily conference call
                                                                                                                     updates and worked diligently to
                                            “I analyze and assess risks and respond accordingly in order             minimize any overstay delays.
                                  to stay safe.”                                                                          Numerous assistant road-
                                  - Roger Hubregtse, welder since 1991
                                                                                                                     masters from the Powder River
                                  “I stay alert, attentive and use good communication with all parties involved.
                                                                                                                     and Montana divisions also
                                  I also try to stay in good physical condition through regular workouts. I even     helped with planning and ex-
                                  take safe practices home and share them with my neighbors — wearing ear            ecution including Don Davis,
                                  plugs and safety glasses in my personal shop.”                                     Eric Schroedel, J.T. Smith, Scott
                                  - George Schilling, grinder operator since September 1978                          Smith and Monte Viall.
                                                                                                                          Trainmasters Brian Gilliam,
                                  “We mentor others and watch out for one other. We don’t cut corners to get         out of Sheridan, and Patrick
                                  a job done early. If someone is doing something unsafe, we speak up and            Hartman, out of Gillette, were
                                  correct the action. Sometimes you don’t recognize unsafe acts until someone        also involved.
                                  points them out.”
                                                                                                                          Kinzel thanks the Operating
                                  - Lee Miller, section foreman for Crawford East
                                                                                                                     Department for committing

                                  “Personal and track safety is a high priority. We take our time and use good       the needed work windows to
                                  communication. We stay focused on the task at hand and we don’t get dis-           complete the work.
                                  tracted or in a hurry. Everybody watches out for everybody. Everybody helps
                                  everybody else.”                                                                      stay focused on
                                  - Rocky Phipps, track inspector with more than 20 years injury-free service
                                                                                                                      the job at hand and
                                  “We pay attention to what we are doing at all times and we have good job
                                                                                                                      operate through
                                  briefings. Most of these individuals joined the railroad in 1974 or before. They
                                  are experienced and well trained in what they do. Everything clicks.”
                                  - T.J. Storbeck, who joined the railroad in 1978, has worked as a gang fore-
                                  man since 1988 and is one of the youngest crew members with 30 years                                - Bob Kinzel

                                                           Powder River Reflection

      The Re
To the Love of Animal
  ForSince childhood, sisters Wendie
Henderson, Alliance brakeman/switch-
                                                               The horned lark was missing numer-
                                                          ous tailfeathers. Although Henderson
                                                                                                          of Shelley Lonsdale, a local licensed
                                                                                                          wildlife rehabilitator. The animal needed
man, and Lorie Reeh, temporary Alliance                   consulted a wildlife rehabilitator in           10 staples in its leg. The wound healed
road foreman of engines, have rescued                     Omaha who said the lark may regrow his          and the porcupine was released back into
injured or orphaned wild animals and ne-                  tailfeathers, the lark was never able to fly    the wild.
glected or homeless domestic animals.                     well enough to be released back to the               The burrowing owl was rescued with
     “I think I was born with a passion                   wild. The bird is now in an educational         the help of a train crew. Scott Marsteller,
to assist helpless animals,” Reeh said.                   facility in South Dakota.                       locomotive engineer, and James Graf III,
“You just get a sense that the animal                          With the support of her husband,           conductor, saw the owl in the tracks as
needs help and you can’t look the other                   Doug, locomotive engineer, Reeh has             they were leaving Sterling.
way.”                                                     rescued a porcupine, burrowing owl,                  The train crew transported the owl
     Henderson’s dogs even discovered                     prairie falcon, king bird, several dis-         by train to a location near Sidney, Neb.,
several injured birds, which she rescued,                 placed young birds and numerous cats            where Reeh could assist. The owl was
including a red-tailed hawk. In addition                  and dogs.                                       diagnosed with a dislocated wing, was
to the red-tailed hawk, she has rescued                        She was notified of the injured por-       treated and lives in a zoo.
two horned larks, turtles and numerous                    cupine from a concerned resident. Reeh               Wendie and Reeh work with vari-
dogs and cats.                                            live-trapped it and sought the expertise        ous licensed wildlife rehabilitators to

                                                                                   Lorie Reeh has served the Powder River Division as temporary
                                                                              road foreman of engines out of Alliance since September.
                                                                                   She said she most likes teaching student engineers because they
                                                                              are “eager to learn.”
                                                                                   Reeh came from the ranks with more than 15 years of
                                                                                   She joined the railroad in 1990 as brakeman/switchman out of
                                                                              Alliance. Reeh became an engineer in 1995, where she remained
                                                                              until her September promotion.
                                                                                   In her latest role, Reeh tries to impress the industry’s inherent
                                                                              challenges upon student engineers.
                                                                                   Prior to the railroad, she worked as a veterinary assistant at three
                                                                              clinics and was a heavy equipment operator 13 years.
                                                                                   But heavy equipment operation was a seasonal job and Reeh
                                                                              sought regular work.
                                                                                   With her experience as a heavy equipment operator, the railroad
                                                                              seemed a logical choice.
Sisters Lorie Reeh, left, Alliance temporary road foreman of engines, and
Wendie Henderson, Alliance brakeman/switchman, are not only animal lovers,
but they are also animal advocates involved with animal rescue.                    Outside of work, Reeh likes gardening, landscaping and walking
                                                                              her two dogs.
                                                             Powder River Reflection

                                                                                                                        Powder River

                                                                                                                       Bauer, Dinnauer
                                                                                                                        Earn Honors
                                                                                                                            Thirteen BNSF photo contest win-
                                                                                                                       ners captured impressive skylines and
                                                                                                                       breathtaking views featured in the 2009
                                                                                                                       calendar, available in November.
diagnose, relocate or release the animals.                   and neuter their pets to help prevent
                                                                                                                            The calendar boasts a variety of
Neither of them has ever been injured                        unwanted domestic animals.
                                                                                                                       photographs including the Columbia
doing animal rescue.                                             For the health and well-being of
                                                                                                                       River Gorge, Chicago’s skyline and a
     If you need wildlife rescue and/or                      animals and the community of Alliance,
                                                                                                                       field of irises in Alliance.
rehabilitation assistance, contact Shelley                   Henderson, Lorie and Jay Weisgerber,
                                                                                                                            The latter, featured on the month of
Lonsdale, licensed wildlife rehabilitator                    locomotive engineer, are trying to start
                                                                                                                       June, was taken in June by the Powder
at 308-787-9984 or 308-225-0724 or via                       a dog park. A location has not been
                                                                                                                       River Division’s Roger Bauer, chief
e-mail at wildwhispers@embarqmail.                           selected, but the BNSF Foundation rec-
                                                                                                                       clerk customer support in Alliance.
com.                                                         ognized the 501(c) 3 non-profit status
                                                                                                                            Mark Dinnauer, Gillette conductor
     This summer, Lonsdale needed a                          and has generously agreed to match
                                                                                                                       on the south pool, earned the same shut-
home for a couple rehabilitated orphaned                     contributions of $100 or greater from
                                                                                                                       terbug honors with his wintery image
raccoons. Dave Wells, training coordi-                       any railroad employee.
                                                                                                                       of a westbound coal empty stopped
nator and conductor, has adopted them.                           BNSF will help build and maintain
                                                                                                                       second out at Cassa.
     Henderson and Reeh said the hard-                       the off-leash dog park of at least one
                                                                                                                            The images glorify coal trains,
est part of animal rescue is unhappy                         and a half acres, complete with
                                                                                                                       grain trains, chemical and intermodal
endings.                                                     water, sprinklers, agility equipment
                                                                                                                       trains and feature thunderstorms, snow-
     They remind pet owners to spay                          and shelter.
                                                                                                                       storms, lakes and bright skies, from
                                                                                                                       throughout the nation.
                                                                                                                            Roger Bauer, chief clerk cus-
                                                                                                                       tomer support in Alliance
                                                                                                                            Bauer recalls always wanting “a
                                                                                                                       good camera.”
                                                                                                                            In the late 1970s, he purchased his
                                                                                                                       top-of-the-line Canon AE1 35mm and
                                                                                                                       has been shooting ever since.
                                                                                                                            He said it is a hobby that could
                                                                                                                       easily develop into something more.
                                                                                                                            “I shoot whenever I see something
                                                                                                                       interesting,” Bauer said. “I enjoy it
Lorie Reeh, Alliance temporary road foreman of engines,                                                                for the pride and satisfaction. I enjoy
rescued an injured porcupine that needed 10 staples in its
leg. The wound healed and the porcupine was released
                                                                                                                       looking for that magical shot good
                                                                                                                       enough to enlarge. It is nice to look at
                                                             Lorie Reeh, Alliance temporary road foreman of engines,
back to the wild.                                            rescued a burrowing owl ailed by a dislocated wing
                                                             with the help of Scott Marsteller, locomotive engineer,                     a good picture and say,
                                                             and James Graf III, conductor. The owl was treated and
                                                                                                                                               Continued on Page 15
                                                             lives in a zoo.

                                                                                           Lorie Reeh, Alliance tem-
                                                                                           porar y road foreman
                                                                                           of engines, has rescued
                                                                                           several displaced young
                                                                                           birds, numerous cats and
                                                                                           dogs and various wild
                                                                                           animals including a prai-
                                                                                      13   rie falcon.
                                                           Powder River Reflection                                                          Results

  gillette Employee
appreciation day
    It is nice to be appreciated. BNSF                       In preparation, a tent was set up the
                                                                                                                   W367 Habitual
                                                                                                                   Safety Upholders
shows appreciation for its employees in                  preceding Friday. Despite more than 10                         W367, a seven-member, four-
many ways.                                               inches of snow, the meal was served.                      truck welding gang makes a habit
    An Employee Appreciation Day                             Breakfast burritos were served to                     of working safely.
took place Oct. 13-14 to recognize                       approximately 200 employees.                                   Their safety record speaks for
Gillette employees’ day-to-day efforts                       Employees present received a BNSF                     itself — 2,776 days injury free and
to work safe.                                            insulated mug.                                            counting since Oct. 19.
                                                                                                                        They’ve found safety success
                                                                                                                   through constant communication.
                                                                                                                        “Communication is key,” said
                                                                                                                   Doug Kerner, welder. “We start
                                                                                                                   each day with a good briefing and
                                                                                                                   re-brief periodically throughout the
                                                                                                                   day as situations change.”
                                                                                                                        Fay Hughes, W367 welding
                                                                                                                   foreman, hands out a daily safety
                                                                                                                   briefing information sheet, which
                                                                                                                   includes work location, track au-
                                                                                                                   thority, what type of authority
                                                                                                                   and weather conditions. Just as
                                                                                                                   important, the bottom of the sheet
Trainmasters Scott Mobley, left, and Pete Carlson, receive accolades from Jim Schafer, senior special agent, for
their quick-witted actions Oct. 4 to apprehend trespassers on BNSF property. Their efforts earned them On Guard
honors.                                                                                                            says “watch out for your fellow
On Guard! Carlson, Mobley                                                                                               “We generally have two people
                                                                                                                   to a truck on our gang, so you
     Trainmasters Pete Carlson and Scott Mobley helped the BNSF Resource Protection                                get used to working closely with
Solutions Team protect BNSF’s resources, people and facilities Oct. 4 with rapid re-                               one person,” said Forest Hughes,
sponse and quick thinking.                                                                                         welder.
     Carlson and Mobley overheard a radio conversation between a UP train crew and                                      Fay said crew W367 is com-
a dispatcher regarding suspicious activity north of Bill, Wyo.                                                     posed of conscientious workers.
     The train crew reported a suspicious vehicle on BNSF property with the headlights                                  Crew members watch out for
off. Then they witnessed two subjects walking around with flashlights.                                             each other and do not let any col-
     Carlson and Mobley were in the area and responded without hesitation.                                         league lift equipment that requires
     Upon arrival, they saw a male subject digging in a salvage dumpster containing                                two people to lift.
scrap copper wire and ordered the subject to climb out and lay prone on the ground.                                     “Keep doing what you are
A female subject was also spotted and ordered to lie prone on the ground.                                          doing, working safely every day,”
     The Converse County Sheriff’s Department was contacted, responded and ar-                                     Fay said. “We don’t want anyone
                     rested both subjects, who were charged with criminal trespass and                             going home hurt. Any injury is not
                         misdemeanor larceny. Both subjects pled guilty.                                           good.”
                                     The BNSF Resource Protection Team officially                                       In addition to Kerner and
                             thanked Carlson and Mobley for their actions awarding                                 Fay and Forest Hughes, W367
                              them On Guard certificates, cups and pins.                                           includes Welders Vernon Scarrow
                                     Remember, whenever you see suspicious activ-                                  and Dewey Maring and Grinders
                              ity, individuals or trespassers, please be safe and call                             Ken Davis and Lucas Young.
                              the Resource Operations Command Center at 8-593-7200
                             or 800-832-5452.
                                                      Powder River Reflection

Continued from Page 13

I took that.”                                        of colorfully painted consists. His fa-
                      Most often Bauer pho- ther frequently rode passenger trains.
                       tographs scenery —                   “I get excited about trains in gen-
                         mainly mountains eral,” said Dinnauer. “I like the feeling
                          and lakes.                 of all the power moving down the rails                Roger Bauer, chief clerk, is a longtime photographer. In June,
                               “ Yo u s e e a and I like to recreate the real world                        Bauer photographed this loaded BNSF coal train led by locomo-
                                                                                                           tive 6233 amidst a field of irises, which earned him showing in
                          scene and think that trains into a miniature train scale.”                       the 2009 BNSF calendar.
                         would be a good pic-               He has a large collection of 187th-
                      ture,” he said. “A lot scale model trains, consisting of 400
Ro g e r B a u e r,  of times you don’t have locomotives and 3,000 pieces of rolling
Alliance chief clerk a camera, but it is sure        stock.
since 2003.
                     nice when you do. That                 Although Dinnauer estimates he
is when you go back to the spot and began photography about 20 years ago,
duplicate an image.”                                 he can’t recall the first time.
      That is exactly what Bauer did on                     “I started getting better the more I
two visits to capture his contest-winning did it,” Dinnauer said. “I try to keep
image for BNSF’s 2009 calendar.                      my camera with me quite often.”
      He said he pulled a line up that                      He finds unique, unusual consists to           Mark Dinnauer, conductor, is passionate about photography,
charted a Dash 9 locomotive.                         photograph by looking at BNSF’s local                 and trains. He was leaving Guernsey aboard a westbound
      “I knew in order to get the shot, I train tracker.                                                   train, and successfully captured this wintry landscape of BNSF
                                                                                                           locomotive 6147, which is featured in BNSF’s 2009 calendar for
needed to get the right angle and late                      One winter day, Dinnauer was in                the month of December.
afternoon lighting to reduce shadows,” Guernsey aboard a westbound, out-
Bauer said.                                          bound train, and saw a picturesque
      He took the image specifically to landscape he desired. With his Canon
submit for the contest.                              EOS 35mm camera on hand, he capi-
      Bauer joined the railroad in talized on the moment and produced a
September 1974 with the track de- contest-winning photo featured on the
partment out of Alliance. As chief month of December.
clerk since 2003, he handles customer                       Dinnauer said he was excited to be
billing, customer support relative to selected for the calendar.
coal traffic and coordinates with off-                      His images have also been pub-
property car shops.                                  lished in the BN Historical Society and               Mark Dinnauer, conductor, finds unique, unusual consists to
      Bauer has been married to Jill since CTC Board.                                                      photograph by looking at BNSFs local train tracker and keeping
September 2007. He has three children,                      Dinnauer joined the railroad May 2,            his camera close.

Lindsey, Rylan and Sarah.                            2005, out of Gillette as a conductor.
      For fun, Bauer likes to garden, golf,                 Prior to the railroad, he worked at
fish, pheasant hunt and walk his black a medical distribution site and for a
Labrador named Coal.                                 grocery distributor.
      Mark Dinnauer, Gillette                                     B e f o r e j o i n i n g B N S F,
south pool conductor                                              D i n n a u e r, a M i l w a u k e e ,
      Dinnauer has been pas-                                         Wis., native, traveled to
sionate about trains since                                            Montana, Wyoming and
childhood and about pho-                                               North Dakota frequently
tography about as long.                                                to capture images of BNSF
      A s a s m a l l b o y,                                          trains — one reason he was           couldn’t stop Dinnauer from arriving in
Dinnauer visited the Amtrak                                         extremely excited to join              Gillette.
and Milwaukee Road passen-                                         BNSF.                                       “I just like being around the rail-
ger terminals with his father to Mark Dinnauer, conduc-                      Even two blizzards, an        road,” he said “It is quite a satisfying
                                                                                                           job. I really enjoy it.”
                                        tor out of Gillette since
watch arrivals and departures 2005                                 ice storm and prevalent winds
                                                  Powder River Reflection

Electrically Charged For Safety
     Powder River Division system electricians working out about going home the same way they came to work — injury
of Alliance, Guernsey and Gillette use teamwork to achieve free.
safety. The group worked 2,743 days injury free as of                    “Our goal is zero injuries, but working injury free is a
Oct. 20.                                                           work in progress all the time,” he said.
     “My crews are extremely knowledge-
able professionals,” said Jim Hartman,
Alliance electrical supervisor. “They
have a constant awareness of their sur-
roundings and the work they do. They
work together as a team and look out for
each other’s safety in the field. Nobody
out there does this type of work any better
than they do.”
     Electrical employees ensure they
work safe while completing duties such
as transporting heavy loads, operating
and working around heavy equipment,
and constructing and maintaining electri-
cal systems involving energized electrical
circuits from 50 volts to 19,900 volts.
     Hartman said they do regular, thor-
ough job briefings and frequently talk      Powder River Division electricians supervised by Jim Hartman make safety the top priority. Kneeling:
                                                    Roger Bakkehaug, left, and Dick Owens. Second row: Larry Wells, left, Phil Schmitt, Kohl Johnson, Jim Manley,
                                                    Mike Hope, Rick Arrants, Rick Lewis, Glen Rupp, Dale Sherfey, Ted Bohlen and Jim Hartman.

  What makes you a safe

  employee                                                                       “We exercise good overall communication, good job
                                                                                 briefings and an overall positive attitude toward our
                                                                                 jobs. Employees working for Jim really enjoy their
  “Good communication amongst the workers is the                                 work and their jobs. Our department as a whole enjoys
  biggest key. We take our time to complete the task at                          our work. We have good overall supervision in Jim
  hand. We also take a lot of time to do good, thorough                          Hartman, Ed Ferguson and Cory Knutson.”
  job briefings and identify all possible hazards.”                              - Philip Schmitt, Alliance electrical inspector and team
  - Rick Lewis, Alliance system electrical foreman                               safety representative

    With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season quickly                      Susie Cooper, division admin, at the Gillette Depot.
approaching, here are a few important reminders of events to fill •	              Nov.	4,	2009,	the	Orin	Line	will	complete	30	years	serving	
you with holiday cheer that you won’t want to miss.                               the Powder River Basin. If you have any photos, informa-
•	 Santa	Claus	will	make	his	annual	holiday	visit	to	the	Gillette	                tion or memorabilia of the Orin Line opening and would
    Depot for employees’ children and grandchildren. He will be                   like to share the items for a display in the Gillette Depot’s
    visiting on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.                      front-entry display case, please submit the items to Kathy
•	 The	annual	Secret	Santa	Auction	in	Gillette	brings	smiles	to	                  Straight, director administration, at the Gillette Depot. The
    those in need. Individuals may make monetary donations                        items will be locked up, duplicates will be made and originals
    or donate items for silent auction no later than Nov. 19 to                   will be returned to the owners.
                                                       Powder River Reflection

Members of the Powder River Division structures crew, supervised by Teri Lake, structures supervisor, keep safety at the forefront in everything they do. Pictured
are Teri Lake, BJ Taylor, Brent Ferguson, Jim DeMott, Ken Reeves, Tim Lewis and Joe Walters, Scott DeFoe, Bill DeWitt, Phil Rodriquez, Leo Garniss, Roy Bennett,
Pat Sherlock, Chris Duvall, John Branson, Rick Broberg, Steve Bickford, Clyde Blue, Rod Green, Steve Childs, Clarence Schouboe, Cameron Cutlers,
Gary Pfortmiller, Tracy Wondercheck, Brian Debus, Dave Lohr, Andy Peterson, Marty McLaughlin, John Breen, Cory Barker, Chuck Mader, John Linn,
Rowland Busskohl, Russ Frahm and Paul Bratt. Rob Grantham is not pictured but also contributed to the success.

 Structures Crew Safe
     Powder River Division Structures employees, su-                                safety gear, tools for the job and anything to make our
 pervised by Teri Lake, achieved 446 days injury free                               jobs easier and safer,” Linn said.
 Oct. 23.                                                                               Pfortmiller said Lake’s positive attitude projects
     “Teri and his employees’ positive attitudes toward                             the safety of his crews.
 safety and commitments to safety are evident in their                                  “He consistently builds morale and works hard to
 current safety streak,” said Cory Knutson, manager                                 maintain good morale amongst his crews,” Pfortmiller
 Structures.                                                                        said. He goes the extra mile for his crews.”
     “We are our brother’s keeper,” said Teri Lake,                                     For safety’s sake, the group participates in thor-
 Structures supervisor. “We watch each other’s backs                                ough weekly conference calls and numerous job brief-
 and make sure things go according to the plan by watch-                            ings throughout each day.
 ing out for hazards and not taking any shortcuts.”                                     Lake said during daily safety briefings the group
     According to Gary Pfortmiller, Structures safety                               recognizes hazards, identifies how to correct or protect
 facilitator in Scottsbluff who has worked with Lake                                the hazards and revisits them in weekly conference
 more than six years, Lake and his employees have                                   calls to discuss outcomes.
 continually improved safety in the department.                                         “Teri gives individual ownership to safety through
     Lake and his crews place cones around equipment                                job briefings, debriefings, conference calls and dis-
 to protect themselves and equipment in equipment                                   cussions on how to eliminate risks,” Pfortmiller said.
 work zones as an added safety precaution.                                          “He gives timely, regular, seasonal safety tips to boost
     “Teri thinks outside the box and develops fresh                                safety and as a result, employees in the field are com-
 ideas,” Pfortmiller said.                                                          municating more overall.”
     Leadership is important throughout our daily lives,                                Pfortmiller said everyone participates and
 as people often lead by example.                                                   functions as a group, which also builds individual
     John Linn, Structures mechanic who has worked                                  ownership.
 with Lake about 11 years, and Pfortmiller, said crews                                  The Powder River Structures Department is one of
 absorb positive attitudes exuded by leadership such                                two departments across the division to remain injury
 as Lake’s.                                                                         free in 2008. The Alliance Terminal is next best with
     “Teri works hard to get us anything we need —                                  298 days injury free.

                                                Powder River Reflection

BNSF Supports Youth Organizations, Railroaders’ Families
     Andrew Kaufman, son of Jeffrey Kaufman, Extra Board                    fare as well as they did at the state district tournament.
locomotive engineer, is a standout on and off the field, which is                Andrew plans to take his skills to the next level — legion
why BNSF chose to support him and his team.                                 ball. He will try out for the traveling AA team next season.
     Andrew, a pitcher and first and second baseman, has been                     Andrew’s efforts off the baseball diamond are also
playing baseball since he was 4. Now 14, Andrew’s 2008 Babe                 admirable.
Ruth All-Star 13-year-old team from Gillette won first place                     Jeff said he has “always been a straight-A student” and is
against 10 teams from throughout Wyoming in the July 3-day                  poised for a 4.0 GPA his eighth grade year at Sage Valley Junior
state district tournament in Green River. The 12-member team                High.
was comprised of specially-selected players from eight Gillette                  Since 2007, Jeff has been vice president of the Babe Ruth
13-year-old teams.                                                          board and his wife, Wendy, of 14 years, has organized uniforms
     The Devil Rays, Andrew’s regular season team, played 14                and equipment. Both were previously involved with the little
games and finished the season with a 12-2 record.                           league organization also. They have three children, Samantha,
     BNSF donated $500 toward uniforms, equipment, field                    18, Andrew, 14, and Tanner, 7.
maintenance, umpires, transportation, travel expenses and general                In his younger years, Jeff also played baseball but his main
expenses. Sponsors received a company banner posted on the                  sport was golf, as a member of the high school golf team.
outfield fence.                                                                  Jeff joined the railroad Nov. 28, 1994, as a brakeman in Gillette.
     “It was really nice and helpful that BNSF was able to sponsor          He also has worked as a conductor and engineer since 1997.
us,” Jeff said. “There was no question about it at any time.”
     Andrew, a four-year All-Star, entered the team as a 13-year-
old and immediately found himself on the starting roster.
     “It was great for him to be able to play with older kids and be
good enough to start,” Jeff said. “He is very athletic. Baseball is
his thing, there is no doubt. He is a natural at baseball although
he plays any sport. If there is a ball involved, he is there.”
     The state district tournament championship propelled
them to regionals in Kelso, Wash., for a week. There, the 13-
year-old All-Stars competed against the best of the best players
from throughout the region — Oregon, Washington, Wyoming,
Montana and Ontario.                                                        Jeff Kaufman, left, locomotive engineer and father of Andrew Kaufman, right, appreci-
     The regional tournament was based first on pool play and               ate BNSF’s generosity in donating $500 to support Andrew’s 2008 Babe Ruth All-Star

then teams were seeded for bracket play. But the team didn’t
                                                                            13-year-old team, which won first place against 10 teams in the three-day state district
                                                                            tournament in July in Green River.

Levi Spreads Safety Message In Dual Roles
     No matter whether acting as Sheridan      communicate ideas, problems and so-                       become a locomotive engineer.
safety representative or BLET engineer,        lutions between employees and the                             Levi has been married to his wife,
Ralph Levi is content as long as he is         company.                                                  Sandra, since 1991. They have four
serving the railroad.                               Regardless of his day’s duties, safety               children.
     “I like the lifestyle,” Levi said.        is his responsibility.                                        Outside of work, he likes to golf, fish,
     As Sheridan safety representative,             “I think, keep a positive, upbeat atti-              travel and ride his BMW motorcycle.
he likes to educate people and enjoys the      tude and stay focused on the job that I am
challenge of finding formats that will suc-    doing,” Levi said. “You must be aware
cessfully educate all employees.               of your work area and your surroundings.
     Levi has been a member of the safety      If you lose that, it is an unforgiving work
committee about 12 years. Also a safety        environment.”
committee secretary four years, he takes            Born and raised in Sheridan, Levi
meeting minutes, organizes and prepares        joined the railroad in 1971 as a laborer
for safety marathons, plans regular            with the Sheridan track department. In
safety meetings and maintains associated       November 1971, Levi became a brake-
paperwork.                                     man in Sheridan. In 1973, he became a                     Ralph Levi is proud to serve the railroad as Sheridan safety
                                                                                                         representative and BLET engineer. He makes safety a No.
     He said the safety committee helps        conductor and in 1976 began training to                   1 priority every day.
                                                            Powder River Reflection

                                                                                                                     Mike Tucker
                                                                                                                          His 36-year railroad re-
                                                                                                                      sume is long and distinguished.
                                                                                                                      His name is known throughout
                                                                                                                      the system in Illinois, Iowa,
                                                                                                                      Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri,
                                                                                                                      Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas
                                                                                                                      and Wyoming.
                                                                                                                          Mike Tucker’s railroad
                                                                                                                      legend ended when he retired
                                                                                                                      Aug. 30 as division engineer
                                                                                                                      out of Gillette since 2007.
                                                                                                                          He started in the ranks
                                                                                                                      as a section laborer in 1973.
                                                                                                                      Tucker then promoted to fore-
Mobile welding gang TRWX1000 includes Sam Bunsu, left, Manuel Flores, Scot Stengel, Darrell Craig, Keith Retzlaff,
                                                                                                                      man, track inspector, supervi-
Doug Kerner, Kevin Weimer, John Heinrich, John Ayres, Jeff Hernandez and Joe Mashek.                                  sor rail maintenance, assistant
                                                                                                                      roadmaster, roadmaster, man-

                                                                                                                      ager roadway planning and
                                                                                                                      assistant director maintenance
                                                                                                                      production responsible for all
                                                                                                                      capital gangs on the Powder
                                                                                                                      River Division North.
                                                                                                                          One of his greatest achieve-
Striving For PerFection                                                                                               ments was the Hill-Holiday
                                                                                                                      Award, which he earned in
                                                                                                                      1995 for the Dec Lacs bridge
        TRWX1000, an 11-person mobile thermite welding joint elimination                                              project.
    gang, Oct. 21 accumulated 896 days injury free.                                                                       His knowledge and pres-
        They have maintained a unblemished safety record since TRWX1000                                               ence are missed by his Powder
    was created in Fall 2005.                                                                                         River Division colleagues and
        The group, assigned to Doug Jensen’s territory from Ravenna,                                                  friends.
    Neb., to Edgemont, S.D., and from Guernsey, Wyo., to Sterling, Colo.,
    continues to strive for perfection.
        Through team work and camaraderie, individuals help each other
    perform tasks safely and efficiently. They have completed nearly 5,000
    thermite field welds.
        Doug Kerner, who has served as TRWX1000 foreman all but about
    four months of their tenure, said group members have great attitudes and
    good work ethics and always look for potential hazards and do what they
    must to avoid them.
        “Always pay attention when performing hot work, so you don’t catch
    a spark or start something on fire,” Kerner said. “Keep your head in the                                         Mike Tucker, Gillette division engineer since
    game. Be observant of what your co-worker is doing. If you see them                                              2007, left, and Sam Sexhus, general manager,
    step into a situation that puts them in harm’s way, let them know.”                                              take a break from the work for some cama-

                                                              Powder River Reflection

         The 24-member Sandhills West                         the two main things I concentrate on                         out for one another and train new
    team boasted 396 days injury free                         all the time,” said Michael Shannon,                         employees to respect what they are
    Oct. 13.                                                  track inspector. “Our crews holds job                        doing and keep their head in the
         William Haga, Sandhills West                         briefings throughout the day, every                          game.
    roadmaster, said the team looks out                       20 minutes if we need to, as the job                             Employees’ commitment to safe-
    for one another and focuses on going                      task changes.”                                               ty was recognized with a barbecue in
    home safely every day.                                         Darrell Leibhart, track inspector                       Mullen Oct. 15, and a second one in
         “Job focus and job briefings are                     and team member, said they watch                             Alliance Oct. 17.

                                                                                                For Rick Olson, two-year Guernsey conductor/switchman, safety is a way of life.

                                                                                                September Safety
                                                                                                Employee of the Month
                                                                                                     Rick Olson, Guernsey conductor/switchman, earned
                                                                                                September Employee of the Month honors Oct. 5, for his con-
                                                                                                stant, dedicated efforts to uphold safety.
      BNSF Foundation                                                                                “It is a great honor to have numerous co-workers think

       Helps Rebuild                                                                            enough of you to nominate you for such a recognition,” he said.
                                                                                                “It is quite humbling.”

     Edgemont HS gym                                                                                 As a conductor/switchman, Olson, who has never been
                                                                                                injured on the job, watches for potential safety issues such as
Dave Cortney, left, superintendent; Lane Ostenson athletic director; Bill Clark, conduc-        pinch points and people, train, equipment and car movements.
tor; Robert Harding, engineer; Ross Molyneaux, road foreman of engines; and Jay                      He said safety must constantly be at the forefront of your
Manke, conductor, were present Oct. 16 for the grand opening of Edgemont High
School’s new gym.
                                                                                                     “We are always communicating about safety in job briefings
     The BNSF Foundation donated $10,000 to help rebuild                                        and otherwise,” Olson said. “You exercise good communication
Edgemont High School’s gym after it was destroyed by a                                          with co-workers, especially the yardmaster on duty. You also
February flood. The money helped replace the floor, bleachers,                                  remain aware of the weather and what is going on around you
roof and basketball hoops.                                                                      including where your fellow employees are at, and train, equip-
     “We have a lot of railroad employees in Edgemont, a lot of                                 ment and car movements.”
their kids attend these schools and this was a great way to support                                  Olson joined the railroad, Aug. 14, 2006, as a switchman.
the community,” said Ross Molyneaux, Edgemont road foreman                                           “I wanted a change,” he said. “The opportunity with
of engines.                                                                                     BNSF arose and I have always been interested in the railroad
     The community celebrated the gym’s grand opening Oct. 16.                                  industry.”
                                                        Powder River Reflection

Arnold Wood, left, conductor, and Rob Topliss, engineer, stop their train briefly at     Ken Willey, Butte Subdivision trainmaster, prepares hamburgers, bratwursts and
the Bridgeport wye Sept. 16, to enjoy lunch provided by BNSF in recognition of six       chicken sandwiches Sept. 16, for Angora and Valley train crews at the Bridgeport
months of injury free work on the Angora and Valley Subdivisions.                        wye, who contributed to six months injury free.

Angora/valley Subs Boast
                                Six Months Injury Free
       More than 300 Angora and Valley Subdivisions em-                                coordinator.
  ployees were honored at a September safety meal for their                                 About 50 Maintenance Of Way employees enjoyed the
  outstanding commitment to safety — six months injury free.                           meal throughout each of three shifts. Meals consisted of
       “We will continue to make safety a priority and we                              hamburgers, bratwursts, chicken breast sandwiches, sodas,
  won’t settle for anything less,” said Eldon Offutt, Angora                           fruit and cookies.
  and Valley Subdivisions trainmaster.
       Sept. 16 and 17, trains traveling in every direction
  halted at the Bridgeport wye so train crews could enjoy a
  meal in recognition of their safe behaviors.
       Offutt said fellowship plays a big part in success.
       Union members who spearheaded the increased safety
  commitment and helped instill positive safety attitudes,
  played an important role in the subdivision’s 2008 safety
       “We are lucky to have good union leaders with great
  credibility,” Offutt said. “Early on, the safety team ap-
  proached me with the idea to change the culture and send
  the message that it is not acceptable to not be safe.”
       BNSF volunteers who prepared and distributed meals
  to crews included Frank Bennett, Alliance superintendent
  of operations; Ron Best, Sterling safety coordinator; Shawn
  Kuiper, Guernsey terminal manager; Brad Merriman, safe-
  ty coordinator; Robert Montgomery, Sterling conductor;
  Steve Waller, safety coordinator; and Dave Wells, training

                                                   Powder River Reflection

RFEs Aplenty
The Powder River Division welcomes two new road foreman of
engines and one temporary road foreman of engines to its arsenal.

    Brian Thomas was lookingmilitarycareer that could provide stability decades into the
future, something promising that aligned closely with his
                                                          for a
    “If the railroad ended tomorrow so would the economy,” Thomas said. “The railroad is not going anywhere.
They are always on the cutting edge of technology. They have existed more than 100 years and will continue at
least 100 years in the future.”
    He joined the railroad in January 2005 and worked as a locomotive engineer until his recent promotion to road
foreman of engines in Gillette. Thomas looks forward to new learning experiences.
    His ultimate goal is to reduce exception events on the division.
    Thomas advises new hires to grasp every piece of information possible from experienced conductors and engi-
neers because their experiences can facilitate a safe environment.
    “The rules were written for a reason,” he said. “Follow the rules, use common sense and beware of your sur-
roundings at all times.”
    Prior to the railroad, Thomas worked in the medical imaging industry as a field service engineer in charge of
maintaining imaging equipment for 65 sites in 27 states.
                                               Thomas joined the Army Reserve in February 1989 and was honorably
                                       discharged September 1996 as a specialist. He was stationed in Denver and
                                               He has been married to his wife, Traci, since February 2007. They
                                       have four children, Alyssa, 19, Ashley, 17, Christopher, 15 and Lindsay, 12.
                                       Outside of work, Thomas is an avid pool player. He also likes to play online
                                       role-playing video games and spend time with his family.

                                                   Derek Brown                                    impression of the company.
                                                                                                     “I saw so many opportunities
                                                                                                  for advancement,” Brown said.
                                                   is the new temporary road foreman              “If you want to advance, you
                                                   of engines in Gillette since Sept. 15.   have the opportunity. The assistance
                                                       For Brown, a railroad career with    is there.”
                                                   BNSF promises endless opportuni-              The railroad is a good fit for
                                                   ties and advancement already evi-        Brown, a former collegiate and pro
Brian Thomas, new road foreman of engines out of
                                                   dent throughout his young, two-year      athlete.
Gillette.                                          career.                                       “Like this company, I am ambi-
                                                       He said he immediately had a good    tious,” he said. ”I am also a quick

                                               Powder River Reflection

   Walter Scott was recently welcomed as the
new road foreman in Alliance for the Sandhills Subdivision.
    Although his railroad career began by accident, his continued service
to BNSF is certainly no accident.
    Prior to the railroad, Scott worked 17 years as a subcontractor in com-
mercial and residential interior finishing. A friend who worked at Job
Source knew Scott was looking for a change. Scott completed a railroad
interview in 1990 and was hired at Seattle as a brakeman.
    In 1994, after two years as a conductor from Seattle to Wenatchee,
Wash., Scott began working as an engineer from Seattle to Portland,
Seattle to Wenatchee and Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., where he remained
until his recent promotion.
    With 128 engineers to supervise, Scott’s primary goals are to work
safe and meet as many colleagues as he can.
    “Any time you are in a situation that involves risk, you have to stop
what you are doing, look the situation over, assess what is happening
and by doing that you manage risk,” Scott said. “Stop, look, assess and
    Scott also enjoys training people.
    “When you see someone get the grasp for the first time it is satisfy- Walter Scott, new road foreman in Alliance for the San-
ing,” he said. “I get a charge out of it. It is fun. I think I can share my dhills Subdivision.
past experiences with people and learn and teach new things.”
    Prior to the railroad, he served in the U.S. Marines as a sergeant from 1968 to 1972. He was stationed in
California, Florida, South Carolina, Vietnam and Washington State.
    Scott has been married to his wife, Rita, 36 years. They have one daughter and one son and two
    In his free time, Scott likes to fish, read, garden and deer and bird hunt.

learner and I feel I have a lot to             engineer out of Edgemont and
offer.”                                        Sheridan in December 2007.
    He advises new employees to re-                He looks forward to con-
main injury free by knowing the rules,         tinued advancement within
being careful, focused and attentive           the company and to learning
and taking their time to complete the          as much as he can in various
task properly.                                 roles.
    Since Brown joined the railroad                “Overall I want to con-
May 1, 2006, in Lincoln, Neb., as a            tribute to the BNSF’s broader
conductor, he has steadily advanced            picture,” Brown said.
his career.                                        He has three children,
    In his first year, Brown worked in         Kierra, 16, Darian, 12, and
Hastings as a road switcher about three        Kayla, 11.
months and in Kansas City at Argentine             Outside of work, Brown
and Murray yards as a RCO and hump             likes to work out daily. He
foreman. He then became a locomo-              enjoys traveling, playing board
tive engineer in Gillette in April 2007        games, watching movies and
and began working as a locomotive              spending time with his family.       Derek Brown, new temporary road foreman of engines in
                                                                                    Gillette since Sept. 15.

                                                            Powder River Reflection

Powder River Reflection appears under direction of the general manager. For news coverage, contact Danielle at the newsletter office by
phone at BNSF 458-7342, 402-475-6397, fax 402-475-6398, mail information to 1845 S. 11th St, Lincoln, NE 68502-2211, or e-mail This material is intended to be an overview of the news of the division. If there are any discrepancies between
this newsletter and any collective bargaining process, insurance contracts or other official documents, those documents will govern. BNSF
continues to maintain and reserves the right, at any time, to alter, suspend, discontinue or terminate all plans and programs described in this
newsletter. This newsletter is not an employment contract or any type of employment guarantee.

 2008 BNSF                                                      Powder River Division

   town Hall
                                                                                                                               PRSRT STD
                                                                BNSF Railway
                                                                                                                               US POSTAGE
                                                                107 North Gillette Ave.
                                                                Gillette, WY 82716                                              MAIL U.S.A.

Forecasts Even
greater Success
     BNSF employees from throughout
the Powder River Division gathered Oct.
15 at the Alliance Mechanical Facility
and in Gillette at the Campbell County
Library for a Town Hall meeting. Carl
Ice, executive vice president and chief
operating officer, spoke at each site.
     His resonating message was —
BNSF and the Powder River Division are
well-grounded and strongly positioned
for continued success despite the waver-
ing U.S. economy.
      “Due to our growth and positive                            Ice ended the meeting with a round
returns, we have great staying power,” he                    of applause to thank employees for
said. “Overall, the infrastructure of the                    their service and dedication and com-
railroad has improved. We will continue                      mend them for their on-going contri-
to invest as necessary to drive safety,                      butions to the successful operation of
productivity and customer service.”                          BNSF.
     Ice also highlighted various keys to
further success.
     “We continue to focus on critical
activities,” he said. “I am confident we
will see an improvement this year when
compared to last year.”
Carl Ice, executive vice president and chief operating officer, discusses BNSF’s promising future with Powder River
Division employees at two Oct. 15 Town Hall meetings.


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