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Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Matthew K. Rose, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, has been named 2010 Railroader of the Year by railroad industry trade journal Railway Age.

matt-rose-web.jpg“In an industry where strong, focused leadership counts for a whole lot, Matt Rose has led BNSF Railway to new heights,” said Railway Age Editor William C. Vantuono. “He leads a railroad that, in the face of a major economic recession and a downturn in traffic and revenues, has performed solidly, controlling costs, improving productivity and continuing to invest in growth capital. BNSF is strongly positioned for growth when the economy recovers, and is an example of why railroads are increasingly the mode of choice for the nation’s transportation needs. There is no better evidence of this than the decision of Warren Buffett—arguably the world’s most respected investor—to acquire BNSF. Buffett calls his investment in BNSF ‘a huge bet on that company, CEO Matt Rose and his team, and the railroad industry. Most important of all, however, it’s an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States.’ This is why we have chosen Matt Rose as our 2010 Railroader of the Year.”

“This award really recognizes the extraordinary efforts and achievements of BNFS’s employees,” said Rose. “While leaders count, BNSF’s strong performance comes from our nearly 40,000 employees’ continued dedication to safety, superior service for our customers, cost control and working with the communities in which we operate."

Matt Rose is Railway Age’s 47th Railroader of the Year. Modern Railroads magazine founded the award, one of the most prestigious in the railroad industry, in 1964 as the “Man of the Year.” Railway Age acquired Modern Railroads in 1991 and has presented the award annually since then. Rose will be honored on March 16, 2010, at Chicago’s Union League Club. He is the first BNSF recipient since 1996, when Santa Fe’s Robert D. Krebs and Burlington Northern’s Gerald Grinstein were selected for their role in bringing the two western Class I railroads together.

Railway Age will tell the story of Matt Rose and the remarkable organization he leads at BNSF with a cover story in the magazine’s January 2010 issue.

About BNSF
A subsidiary of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (NYSE:BNI), BNSF Railway operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America, with about 32,000 route miles in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. The railway is among the world’s top transporters of intermodal traffic, moves more grain than any other American railroad, transports the components of many of the products we depend on daily, and hauls enough low-sulfur coal to generate about ten percent of the electricity produced in the United States. BNSF Railway is an industry leader in Web-enabling a variety of customer transactions at www.bnsf.com.

About Railway Age
Railway Age (www.railwayage.com) is a monthly trade magazine circulated at the management levels of North American freight and passenger railroads. Founded in Chicago, Ill., in 1856, it is the transportation industry’s longest-running trade publication. Railway Age is published by the Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp., New York, N.Y.

Supplemental information

Railroader of the Year recipients under Modern Railroads:
1964:  D. W. Brosnan, Southern Railway System
1965:  Stuart T. Saunders, Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
1966:  Stuart T. Saunders, Pennsylvania Railroad Co.
1967:  Louis W. Menk, Northern Pacific Railway
1968:  William B. Johnson, Illinois Central Railroad
1969:  John W. Barriger, Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
1970:  John S. Reed, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
1971:  Jervis Langdon, Jr., Penn Central Transportation Co.
1972:  Charles Luna, United Transportation Union
1973:  James B. Germany, Southern Pacific Transportation Co.
1974:  L. Stanley Crane, Southern Railway System
1975:  Frank E. Barnett, Union Pacific Railroad
1976:  Dr. William J. Harris, Jr., Association of American Railroads
1977:  Edward G. Jordan, Conrail
1978:  Robert M. Brown, Union Pacific Railroad
1979:  Theodore C. Lutz, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
1980:  John G. German, Missouri Pacific Railroad Co.
1981:  Lawrence Cena, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
1982:  A. Paul Funkhouser, Family Lines Rail System
1983:  L. Stanley Crane, Conrail
1984:  Hays T. Watkins, CSX Corp.
1985:  John L. Cann, Canadian National
1986:  Raymond C. Burton, Jr., Trailer Train Co.
1987:  Willis B. Kyle, Kyle Railways
1988:  Darius W. Gaskins, Jr., Burlington Northern
1989:  W. Graham Claytor, Jr., Amtrak
1990:  Arnold B. McKinnon, Norfolk Southern
1991:  Mike Walsh, Union Pacific Railroad

Recipients under Railway Age:
1992:  William H. Dempsey, Association of American Railroads
1993:  Raymond C. Burton, Jr., TTX Co.
1994:  L. S. “Jake” Jacobson, Copper Basin Railway
1995:  Edwin Moyers, Southern Pacific Transportation Co.
1996:  Robert D. Krebs, AT&SF, and Gerald Grinstein, Burlington Northern
1997:  Paul M. Tellier, Canadian National
1998:  David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern
1999:  Edward A. Burkhardt, Wisconsin Central Transportation Co.
2000:  The Railroad Worker (award presented as “Railroader of the Century” for 2000)
2001:  Michael R. Haverty, Kansas City Southern Railway
2002:  E. Hunter Harrison, Canadian National/Illinois Central
2003:  Richard K. Davidson, Union Pacific Railroad
2004:  Robert J. Ritchie, Canadian Pacific Railway
2005:  David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern
2006:  Richard F. Timmons, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association
2007:  William E. Wimmer, Union Pacific Railroad
2008:  Stephen C. Tobias, Norfolk Southern
2009:  Michael J. Ward, CSX
2010:  Matthew K. Rose, BNSF