BNSF Railway Reviews

Updated March 8, 2015
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BNSF Railway Chairman and CEO Matt Rose
Matt Rose
113 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. Dont do this for the money, once hired they own you.

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

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

    Pros

    Great pay, unless you count the time away from your family. You will have money to buy all the nice toys that your wife and friends can use on the weekends while youre working.

    Cons

    -No schedule whatsoever
    -On call 24/7
    -Company doesnt care about you, your family or your health as long as they have a warm body to run a train.
    -No time off, they have a 75% availability policy, which means you can be unavailable 25% of the time, which sounds great, but say you have a family and get sick one month and use 4 weekend days, not weekends mind you..weekend days. What counts as a weekend, if you miss a friday and it goes past 1230 saturday morning by 1 minute, theres your weekend so guess what, you get to work the next 2 months with only 2 weekend days off. And yes, any paid days or vacation days count against you so the week of vacation you take one month affects you for the next 2 months.
    -Managers are now college kids, no clue what its like to be train service. Expect no leniency if you miss a call to go to work or lay off an extra weekend day in a 3 month period.
    - Seniority gets you NOTHING, it will get you off of the extra board, once in a pool you get the same job as a new hire that a guy with 45 years has.
    **Here's my advice to anyone who decides to try this..if you hire on as a conductor, stay a conductor and work the yard, lower pay but still good, set days off, set hours, easy work. Or transfer to be a carman or to the roundhouse right away, if you do it later you lose too much seniority. DO NOT go into the engineer program, once you do that you lose all your options.
    - Look up the divorce rate of railroaders. If you're looking to never see your wife or kids or any of their activities, this may be the perfect career for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dont even know where to start here..Dont even know where to start here..Dont even know..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Conductor at BNSF

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Railroad Conductor in Dilworth, MN
    Current Employee - Railroad Conductor in Dilworth, MN

    I have been working at BNSF Railway (more than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is great, camaraderie is good

    Cons

    No life, lots of gossip, no schedule, company constantly trying to fire you. Management will lie, yet expect honesty from you. They are quick to blame crews, everything is about who is at fault. The goal is not to fix the problem. Working hard is not recognized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit trying to fire your crews, we are not the enemy. Crews are doing the best they can on as much little sleep as they get. The hypocrisy from you-the management is terrible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Not happy

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

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

    Pros

    Good pay
    Good benefits
    Some friendly people

    Cons

    Promised me a job, but was not doing what I was promised

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful

    Rampant Indecision

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The industry is very interesting and the company has a rich and storied history.

    Cons

    It hurts to say this, but BNSF is a company in decline. The culture at corporate headquarters is like a malignant cancer. Initiative and innovation are frowned upon unless it is related to one of the executives' pet projects. Many managers eschew all decisions in order to avoid any possibility of disapproval from their bosses. At times decisions are made by committee, which never works. For a company that so dramatically supports leadership, real leadership is lacking. Political in-fighting between departments is frequent and is often damaging to those on the receiving end. Salary and vacation is below market, the health benefits are now high deductible health plans, alternative work schedules and working from home are frowned upon, and fringe benefits are lacking. Technology is in some cases decades behind other organizations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to be a world-class Fortune 500, begin behaving like one. Work to recast the culture to foster collaboration and innovation. Reevaluate salaries to be competitive in the industry and in the DFW metroplex. Look at what benefits you can bring to corporate employees - a "near site" health clinic and a small on-site gym just don't impress.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Hiring Process

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time

    Pros

    Employs a lot of military.

    Cons

    The hiring process is very long.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Unimpressed

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

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Pay is ok in the crafts. Pension is a plus if you can make it that far

    Cons

    For myself the list is long, to long to list. First off any social life or time to get one is out the window. Days off are horrible unless you have high seniority i.e 10 yrs +
    The attitude off all employees is depressing to say the least. No one wants to be here and it shows. It makes coming to work a chore. I guess that's why it is called a job and not a career.
    Overall if you want to be challenged in your work or have a sense of accomplishment when you go home do not join the crafts at the railroad.
    If you like to sit around, do just enough to get by, and do not care about a personal/ social life the railroad is your place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not much you can do at a numbers driven railroad.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 7 people found this helpful

    Be ready for a fight if you are a female trainmaster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Terminal Trainmaster
    Current Employee - Terminal Trainmaster

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great pay, great benefits, good schedule

    Cons

    If you are a female be ready to fight. You will watch the men that started at the same time as you not have to do the extra things that will be required of you. Extra shifts, train trips, lectures, weekly reports, ect. If you dont go drink with the rest of management because of your believes you will be labeled an outsider and told you are not a team player. Trust nobody.....absolutely nobody.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep a closer eye on your terminal sups. Do a annonymous evaluation where the females feel free to speak up without fear of reprisal. Discrimination is far more wide spread than upper management is being told.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful

    Good Solid Company great pay and benefits, bad work life balance. BNSF=Better Not Start a Family

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Railroad Conductor in Miles City, MT
    Current Employee - Railroad Conductor in Miles City, MT

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time

    Pros

    Great pay and benefits, company perks, and a great investment/retirement package. Good place to start a new career.

    Cons

    Terrible work/life balance. 12-16 hours at the home terminal to rest and 36 to 48 hours out on trips. 24/7 call rosters, no scheduled days off to plan on family time. No provisions or time to move family or household to new work locations. Many new families are geographically separated for long periods of time. Manpower shortages cause constant reassignments so you may move your family to your assigned location and end up working in another state for months. No consideration for family. Constant conflict between Union and Management, not much support from either side for the new guy trying to figure things out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management, evaluate your manpower management practices. A manpower shortage compounded by mismanagement of available manpower is catastrophic. Close the gap between managers and the workforce, listen to the input from the guys with 20+ years on the railroad as much your young managers with a degree. Even a bad manager can look good with enough manpower to cover lack of planning.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful

    No personal life, on call 24/7, loyalty and respect gets you no where, brown nosing gets you whatever you want

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Foreman in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Foreman in Oklahoma City, OK

    I have been working at BNSF Railway full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Nice wages and benifits and sometimes nice vehicles and equipment.

    Cons

    MOW department:
    Lack of manpower- they'll work you 130 hours a week-ask for help-get none
    Safety- really- 100+ a week. work 48 days without a day off.
    On call 24/7- deny a call and see what happens. They want you to take calls on what is supposed to be your
    day off because they won't hire personnel
    Call departments (like payroll) for how to pay-then they come back and start taking thousands of dollars back/ tell you you should file this form and you do, then they deny that
    they don't honor the contracts they sign
    Eployee Assistance Program- hit a child and asked for counseling- got told to drink water, sleep and talk about it.
    They buy cheap equipment in some area's and it makes a safety hazzard
    Not enough time to work properly and do a quality job
    Employee's should have good moral and attitude but most are poor and bad-company made

    Someone should take a serious long look at the monies wasted and the everyday battle the workforce faces.
    The lies from management needs to stop. Run this company like the great company it can be.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None because what we say isn't important, not wanted and not needed

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful

    Politics over action, no work/life balance, antiquated value system of good ol' boys.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Terminal Trainmaster
    Current Employee - Terminal Trainmaster

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

    Pros

    Railroad retirement benefit is much greater than SSI. Opportunity to make decent money if you are willing to forfeit everything else (family, relationships, your soul) for it.

    Cons

    Politics are valued more than skills (or anything else). Business is changing, but BNSF has set their target for change toward the model of Apple or Microsoft in the 1970's. By the time these goals are met, BNSF's "progressive new image" will be outdated by 50 years. All talk, no action, backstabbing, cutthroat, generally a breeding ground for mental illness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit being a bunch of hypocrites and jerks. For serious. Nobody benefits from a blame-game approach of leadership, learn from where you've been but identify and work toward where you want to be. Stop rewarding terrible people with promotions. FIRE a MANAGER every now and then - some people look great on paper but simply cannot hang in the real world. Retaining them does not help anyone.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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