The Burlington Northern Railroad (reporting mark BN) was a United States-based railroad company formed from a merger of four major U.S. railroads. Burlington Northern operated between 1970 and 1996.
Its historical lineage begins in the earliest days of railroading with the chartering in 1848 of the Chicago and Aurora Railroad, a direct ancestor line of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, which lends Burlington to the names of various merger-produced successors.
Burlington Northern merged with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway at the end of 1996 to form the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (later renamed BNSF Railway), which was owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation. That corporation was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway in 2009 which is controlled by investor Warren Buffett.