Nine that shine: BNSF railfan photographers rise to the challenge

Highlighting our commitment to safety, service, innovation, people, communities and our heritage.

May 29, 2024

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3 mins.

Nine that shine: BNSF railfan photographers rise to the challenge

Staff Writer

As winter melts into spring, picturesque backdrops bloom anew. Rain or shine, railfan photographers know how to capture spectacular moments through their lenses. We received a wealth of photos for this year's Spring Photo Contest, and our panel of judges selected the best of the best to share with you.

If you're venturing out to capture blooming landscapes, remember to take photos from safe locations outside railroad property. Trespassing on the tracks or right-of-way is illegal and dangerous.


Carter Hayes

BNSF keeps freight moving across its 32,500-mile rail network. In this scene, BNSF 9269 hauls empty coal cars in Greenland, Colorado, with the famous Pikes Peak standing tall in the background. What a capture! Great job, Carter.


Connor Kezlan

A BNSF manifest snakes westward through the fog-covered Colorado Rockies on a spring day. Trees drape over the mountainous landscape. We are awestruck by the beauty captured. Awesome work, Connor!


Jennifer Al-Beik

The lush landscape evokes Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. While traversing Washington, Jennifer witnessed spring in full swing, with vibrant greens everywhere. Rain didn't deter her. Hearing the train approach, she rushed to an overpass as the sun emerged just as it rounded the curve at Chambers Bay Beach. The mysterious columns are remnants of a mining operation from another era. Thank you for transporting us to a little slice of magic, Jennifer!


Timothy Tonge

Rolling storm clouds frame BNSF 3951 leading a Z train westbound at Barr, Colorado, after sunset. This location is one of Timothy's go-to spots due to the tracks being elevated and isolating the train. What a fantastic job of capturing an incoming storm, Tim!

Ken Edmier

Deep in the Cascade Mountains, a westbound intermodal train crosses Nason Creek on a beautiful spring morning as it climbs Stevens Pass toward the Cascade Tunnel. As the weather warms and dormant flora awakens, the scenery comes alive, painting a picturesque backdrop for BNSF 7920. What a refreshing picture, Ken!

Gregory Weirich

Red roses peak in the foreground as BNSF 293 returns to Everett, Washington, from Roosevelt, Washington. If spring could be captured in a picture, it would be this one! Nothing quite like stopping to smell the roses. Greg did an excellent job encapsulating spring in one image.

Trevyr Shutz

Wildflowers across Texas have fully bloomed, providing brilliant hues to the normally green landscape. A westbound BNSF intermodal passes by a field of yellow flowers as it slows to a stop for a meet between two trains. The splash of yellow and orange add even more beauty to the Texas landscape. Great image, Trevyr!

Luke Malin

Led by BNSF 6524, a grain train rolls west through the suburbs of Brookfield, Illinois, seen from the Metra station. The flowers in the foreground provide commuters with vibrant spring colors to enjoy. Beautiful shot, Luke!

Carter Hayes

BNSF No. 9752 hauls cement through Spruce, Colorado, on the final stretch to Palmer Lake on Colorado's Joint Line. What an epic shot, Carter!

Spring unfolds in a variety of wonderful ways depending on where you are. We love seeing the variety of climates, landscapes and flora you captured. Thank you to everyone who submitted entries for our 2024 Spring Photo Contest. With such stunning images to choose from, voting for our winners was challenging. We’re amazed by your talent! Please keep capturing the beauty of BNSF trains and remember: Be safe out there.

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