If you wish to look at/review any item in our archives, please use either our USPS mail address or fill out the online form below.

Your request should clearly indicate what item(s) or subjects you are looking for and wish to see. Please be as detailed as you can so that we can conduct a focused search.

Some Possible Examples:

  • I am looking for information on BN (specific equipment name, manufacturer, number).
  • I am looking for information on the track between point A and point B.
  • I am looking for information about (a specific feature) at (name a milepost) at (name a place).
  • I would like to know when and/or where (name an event) happened.
  • I would like to model (piece of equipment, place, etc.) and need to know X, Y, Z.

Your request will be coordinated with our archivists-all of whom are volunteers. We will make our best efforts to accommodate your request, but cannot guarantee results.

Please note that we do not have the ability to copy or scan any item at the archives location in the Twin Cities – we can take a picture of an item or provide limited copying/scanning by our archive staff, but at an off-site location.

Under no circumstances will the society allow an item to be removed from the archives location, except for the purposes of copying/scanning by an archives staff member.


FOBNR members: First ten pages and first two hours are free.

  • Copying/scanning documents—25 cents/page
  • Copying/scanning by Archives Staff—Minimum of $15/hr paid to FOBNR.
  • Copied documents will be emailed to you wherever practicable. Oversize documents or bundles of materials will be sent via US Postal Service.
  • If items are mailed to you, USPS postage will be added to the research/copying costs.

Especially for requests that may involve action by the predecessor railroads of the BN and BNSF, you might also make contact with their historical societies:

Great Northern Railway Historical Society www.gnrhs.org

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association www.nprha.org

Spokane, Portland, & Seattle Railway Historical Society www.spshs.org

Burlington Route Historical Society www.burlingtonroute.com

Saint Louis & San Francisco Railway Historical and Modeling Society www.frisco.org

Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society www.atsfrr.com