BNSF Railway Reviews

Updated September 23, 2014
Updated September 23, 2014
178 Reviews
3.1
178 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
BNSF Railway Chairman and CEO Matt Rose
Matt Rose
90 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great pay and benefits, company perks, and a great investment/retirement package (in 16 reviews)

  • Good pay for no experience or no education beyond high school (in 18 reviews)


Cons
  • Pockets of job concentration that can cause unnecessary work/life balance issues (in 17 reviews)

  • Lots of travel and long hours ( I actually enjoyed this aspect, but not everyone does) (in 16 reviews)

More Highlights

19 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Arguably the most frustrating and excruciating three months of my life

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Worth, TX

    I worked at BNSF Railway as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Competitive comp and ben, easily attainable work-life balance

    Cons

    Extremely inefficient, male-dominated, outdated business model, poor leadership, extremely unprofessional HR

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire smarter, more diverse individuals. be open to change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Worst Place to work as a Software Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Applications Development in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Applications Development in Fort Worth, TX

    I worked at BNSF Railway as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Employee benefits (May be - Not available for intern)

    Cons

    Quality of the work is not at all a concern. Management micromanages and puts us under pressure every day and literally threats to fire us every chance they get. No learning for interns. Management is killing employee's innovation and thought process. Interns are being treated as slaves for employees/mentors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Top level management has to communicate well with all level employees about their employee values. Managers should have regular one to one meetings with internship candidates and get feedback about their mentors.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    VERY RACIST COMPANY. I WOULDNT RECOMMEND NO AFRICAN AMERICAN TO APPLY.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous in Fort Worth, TX

    I worked at BNSF Railway full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Just the pay. Nothing else

    Cons

    THEY TALK TO YOU LIKE YOU ARE IGNORANT, AND I HAVE BEEN CALLED BOY A COUPLE OF TIMES. MY WHOLE EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN A RACIST NIGHTMARE. RACISM STILL EXIST IF YOU ARE BLACK AND APPLYING FOR THE RAILROAD IN TEXAS.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    MY ADVICE IS TO HIRE SOME UNDERCOVER WORKERS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION. AND YOU WILL UNCOVER ALL THE FAVORTISM AND RACISM IN YOUR ORGANIZATION. NOT ALL OR LIKE THAT, BUT MANAGEMENT IN THE SIGNAL DEPARTMENT OFF DEEN RD IN FT WORTH IS TRULY RACIST.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    You must chose between having a good salary or having a life. You cannot have both at BNSF.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trainmaster in Belen, NM
    Former Employee - Trainmaster in Belen, NM

    I worked at BNSF Railway full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It is a job, it provides good benefits, the pay is OK. Divide the number of hours you work, without having overtime, and you'll see that it is not as great as management says it is.

    Cons

    Where to begin...

    Management is not upfront with what it is truly like to be a trainmaster and how difficult it is to deal with their unions.

    There is absolutely no work/life balance. Management advertises that you'll work 3 days on, 3 days off but that never happens. You work at least 13 hrs or more every shift. You have to come on your days off to ops test train crews. You have to work "value-added days," which is basically working for free on your days off. Management does not care if you have to work straight for 30 days, without a single break.

    Management has unrealistic expectations of their employees. You are not an employee, you are a number, a tool to be used for any purpose until you break.

    Management and unions have an aggressive relationship to one another, they are constantly at odds. The unions has a lot of power and they are extremely difficult to work with and manage.

    I have had to work 24hr to 32hr shifts before and be so exhausted that I could barely drive home. Management does not care if you have to work those hours.

    BNSF advertises their generous salaries and people sign up because at face value, it is a good compensation package. However, once you divide your salary over the high amount of hours you work, BNSF does not pay that much because you will not receive overtime.

    About 90% of the people I worked with were either divorced, alcoholics and chain smokers. I honestly don't know how you can raise a family there. Most everybody that I met working there were just miserable people, they were bitter and angry and loved to hate their jobs. To save my marriage and my sanity I quit the job.

    BNSF traps you into staying with the company. Every time they move you (which can be often) they lock you in a contract to pay back the move, which is very expensive. They always recommend you to buy a house and they will buy it back from you when you move. They do that so you are trapped in whatever remote location they place you, where it is difficult to sell your house and you are forced to stay in.

    Management micromanage every aspect of your day and life. Managers have no problems being verbally abusive, shouting at you at the top of their lungs in front of your colleagues. It's common practice there.

    Everybody is so scared of making mistakes that they will blame anything on everyone possible so no blame is assigned to them. No one is willing to help you, it was difficult for them when they arrived and they'll make it a point for you to be given your share of difficulties for being new. It's just the culture.

    Every trainmaster I met had the same goal: to get out of operations quickly and go back to corporate. The positions at corporate are few and far in between and you are competing with thousands of trainmasters for the same position, who are trying to leave the field.

    The people that I see being a fit for BNSF are single, young, military background (culturally similar) and are not in a meaningful relationship. There is a joke that says that BNSF stands for: Better Not Start a Family. It is hard to have a social life when your days off are in the middle of the week in a somewhat remote location. I suppose that is why I saw so much divorce, high rate of alcoholism, and a lot of chain smoking in the job. It's how people tend to cope with the stress of the job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We are humans and we have necessities such as sleep, time to eat, ability to use the restroom and care four our families. I am sure that you would have a better workforce if you incorporate better work/life balance and attempt to have a better working relationship with the unions. Until you do, you will keep seeing the same high rate of turnover, which is exacerbated with the large number of employees retiring.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Huge let down

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Assistant Signalman in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Assistant Signalman in Denver, CO

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Pay, benefits, per diem, retirement

    Cons

    Traveling, lots of downtime, horrible coworkers that won't teach you anything when your a new employee, wasteful company that knows nothing about going green, preaches safety way to much, company spends to much time trying to fire you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Conductor

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor in Denver, CO

    I worked at BNSF Railway full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The pay is the best you can get without any advanced education. Initially, the learning off the job and doing it can be fun.

    Cons

    Expect to work on call extra boards for at least a few years. Everyone starts this way though. Expect to treated as minority who is hated by racists. I'm white by the way. I've never been treated so disrespectfully by management in my life. This is why I left after 8 years. On the bright side, the day I left felt like leaving prison and this job gave me the motivation to finish college so I would never be left without options again in life! Please have an exit plan and don't buy a new house and truck if you work here, this is virtually how everyone is trapped. If you were to lose your 100K job without a backup plan or education you will be blackballed by the other class A railroads and be worth $8/hr or whatever the going rate for a ditchdigger is. None of these skills will transfer to the real world. Shortlines will pay a quarter or a third of this rate, if you're lucky.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take a look at your scrutiny of employees. I've saved lives and millions in freight to be screamed at? Your turnover ratio is steadily increasing, leaving less knowledge on the rails. You will soon have the McDonald's employees it seems you strive to obtain. In 8 years as one of the better employees, I may remember getting 2 or 3 compliments, yet getting cussed out by a trainmaster when I was riding the point of a car that derailed and flipped in -10 weather. It went right, luckily I waas riding the left side and jumped off. I guess I inconvenienced them by calling in the middle of the night and having them have to get out of bed?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Never ever, ever take a job there again!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Worth, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Worth, TX

    I worked at BNSF Railway full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The pay was very attractive, that's the bait.

    Cons

    Too much to describe to be believable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The atmosphere of the office space was terrible, not friendly at all. The workers are not welcoming.

    Doesn't Recommend
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    The starting point of a dead end! If you are a young, hard working, somewhat intelligent person go elsewhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Teague, TX
    Current Employee - Locomotive Engineer in Teague, TX

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Economy has very little effect on a monopoly. If the only dream you have ever had is to work on trains you can achieve that here.

    Cons

    Example: I recently watched managers cover up everything wrong on this division for the officer special (CEO train). As it approached we were instructed by management to go indoors. We were not worthy to look upon the emperors personal train. You are looked at and treated as a slave! BNSF is a black hole that will destroy your health, family, and entire life. I know I will never say"I wish I could have worked more."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enjoy the A/C! Next place is sure to be very HOT.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor in Denver, CO

    I worked at BNSF Railway full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to make 100K in train service. It gave me the incentive to finish college to work in a place with professionalism and respect.

    Cons

    Management worker relations possibly the equivalent of 50 years ago in most industries. I feel I was one of the top employees in my craft but only remember 2 compliments. Screamed at like a child from management and one actually physically assaulted( pushed) because I questioned his decision. Don't ever let your children work there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seeking everything wrong will not make everything right. Modernize employee relations. Offer reward if only verbal for positive work, not strictly focus on any negative.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Big Letdown

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor
    Former Employee - Railroad Conductor

    I worked at BNSF Railway full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Pay and benefits are very good. Union protection is also a plus. Work is interesting and is never the same each day, big variety.

    Cons

    Management doesn't have a clue what really happens out in the field. Every accident is the employees fault unless proved otherwise. Lots of extra deductions come out of your check so you don't take home anywhere near what you are promised. Step rate pay system. Start at 75% of full rate and go up from there over 5 years. Work not always steady, furloughs very common especially within first 5 years of employment and beyond sometimes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire from within the company, not kids right out of business school. It's a lot easier to respect someone who has worked their way up than someone who has never set foot around a railroad. Treat employees like people, not a number. Don't assume it's always the employee's fault when something goes wrong. Hire based on number of eligible positions, not number of people eligible to retire.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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