There was excitement from the kids and adults alike waiting in line for a special ride on vintage railcars Friday afternoon. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway hosted the "BNSF Special" train ride for their employees and a local youth organization.
As a thank you for the support of BNSF Railway employees and the communities where the company operates, BNSF offered special train rides for its employees and their families, as well as local youths from the Minot Family YMCA. The BNSF Special features 15 restored vintage passenger railcars from the 1950s and 1960s, powered by two of BNSF's newest locomotives.
In addition to the train trip, the BNSF Railway Foundation made a $10,000 contribution to the Minot Family YMCA. Amy McBeth, public affairs for BNSF, said they like to give to organizations that build youths into strong adults and that have a significant place in the lives of youth.
Several dozen kids from the Minot Family YMCA, as well as employees from Burlington Northern Santa Fe, were invited to ride on the BNSF Special, a train that features 15 restored vintage passenger railcars from the 1950s and 1960s and powered by two of BNSF’s newest locomotives. Train rides were June 15 and 17, with boarding times at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
"And we felt like the Y fit that perfectly," she said.
Giving BNSF employees and their families, as well as the youths from the community, was a way to give back to them. McBeth said the special train rides were to thank BNSF employees for all of their hard work last year during the flood.
"The BNSF Special is a great way to share the excitement of the railroad with these special passengers and to say thank you to our employees, their families, and the communities we serve," noted John Ambler, BNSF vice-president, Corporate Relations.
The train rides leaving out of Minot on Friday and Sunday travel east for an hour, then turn around and come back to Minot, McBeth explained. From Minot, they go to Montana and do the same thing, she added, traveling in one direction for an hour and then returning to where they started from.
The BNSF Special will also be in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota. In total, the BNSF Railway Foundation will contribute $60,000 to youth organizations on its route.
Rides on the BNSF Special are invitation only and not open to the general public. The round trip lasts approximately two and a half hours.