Class I Briefs: BNSF, UP

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
UP photo via Facebook

UP photo via Facebook

BNSF recognizes work teams with Safety Bells. Also, Union Pacific (UP) teams up with Operation Lifesaver Inc. (OLI) and the Victoria Police Department for a Railroad Investigation and Safety Course.


BNSF recently reported via a LinkedIn post that 2023 was a historic year for the Class I railroad, stating that it had “the fewest number of injuries and the lowest injury frequency rate ever.”

This, BNSF says, was accomplished by team members who are “dedicated to protecting safety for themselves and their coworkers.”

To celebrate its safety achievements, BNSF announced the winners of its Safety Bells, which for more than 20 years have recognized work teams that achieve the best safety performance each year.

BNSF photo via LinkedIn

For 2023, the following BNSF teams earned Safety Bells:

  • Best Overall Division – Heartland Division
  • Best Transportation Team – Northwest Division
  • Best Mechanical Shop – Commerce, California, Diesel Shop
  • Best Field Mechanical – Montana Division
  • Best Engineering Team – California Division

Other Safety Bell honorees include intermodal equipment operators at Corwith (Chicago), Memphis and Seattle, and the Suburban Services Mechanical Department in Chicago.

These bells will soon be presented in the winning locations and the teams recognized at their workplaces.

More information about BNSF’s Safety Bell history is available here.


UP announced via a Facebook post that it recently teamed up with OLI and the Victoria Police Department for a Railroad Investigation and Safety Course.

In 2023, UP says it trained more than 6,400 first responders. “Thank you to communities like Victoria, Texas, for making sure safety is your No. 1 priority,” the Class I wrote in the post.

UP photo via Facebook

In related news, UP on Feb. 13 announced that its Heartland Service Unit recently claimed its first Safety Bell, the Operating Department’s highest annual team safety honor awarded to the service unit with the best overall safety record.

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