Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, railroad system in much of the United States (except the Northeast) and in S Canada, created in 1995 from the merger of Burlington Northern Inc. and the Santa Fe Pacific Corp. (see Santa Fe RR). The Burlington Northern RR, with headquarters in Fort Worth, Tex, was itself created (1970) from the merger of four older regional railroads: the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy RR (est. 1864), the Northern Pacific Railway (1864), the Great Northern Railway (1857), and the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway (1905). In 1980, Burlington Northern acquired the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway (chartered 1849). By the late 1990s the system had over 34,000 miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. In 1999 the system announced a $6 billion merger with the Canadian National Railway to create the largest railroad in North America, but in 2000 the deal was scrapped after the U.S. Surface Transportation Board froze all such mergers.
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