North Idaho

BNSF Christmas train brings joy to military families

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - 23281404

Dozens of military families hopped aboard a vintage train to enjoy an evening on the tracks Tuesday night, thanks to Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which was showing its appreciation to military veterans during the Christmas season.

BNSF has been doing the train rides for about six years now, hosting dozens of military personnel and their families for a 90-minute train ride aboard a train lined with refurbished antique cars from the 1930s and 40s.

"What we do is we take the families of National Guard and military veterans on a train ride for about an hour and a half and we have Santa Claus, we feed the kids a little bit, it's just our way of saying thanks to the veterans," Roger Nober with BNSF said.

Everyone on board Tuesday's night ride had a story, like Angela Butchers, whose husband is deployed. She says moments like this help cheer her up, and she's in good company. BNSF is a top ten company for military veterans who fill 70 of their 300 local positions, including John Jeffrey.

"To come home and know that your job is guaranteed when you get home, and to have the support to go with it," Jeffrey said.

BNSF went all out for these families, including a surprise visit from Santa with presents for all the good boys and girls.

Tuesday night's families were all from the Idaho National Guard. Wednesday the Washington National Guard will be able to take the same trip.