Welcome to Burlington Northern Adventures

Burlington Northern Adventures relate the personal experiences of the author,William J. Brotherton, who went "railroading" as a brakeman, conductor and trainmaster for the Burlington Northern Railroad system, starting in 1979 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Through his many interesting short stories, Brotherton illustrates what it was like to work for a major railroad company before branch lines, vintage diesel locomotives and cabooses were phased out. Brotherton, who hopped freights as a youth growing up in Atlanta, takes the reader along on his personal encounter with a railroaders' life in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Colorado. He ended his railroad career as a trainmaster with the Colorado & Southern Railway in Denver.

William is a proud member of the Missisquoi Abenaki in Vermont, where half of his family is from. His grandmother, Nellie Boss (Bourgeois) Lamphere, was born in Québec and was a member of the Abenaki. William is also a proud Fighting Sioux, having graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1980. William is an active member in the effort to return the use of the name Fighting Sioux to the University, as it was removed upon demand by the NCAA. The other half of William's family is from Augusta, Georgia. William is a volunteer at the Masters Golf Tournament every year, and works as a gallery guard on the 14th hole. As a volunteer, he returns every year after the tournament to play the course.

About that 76 Chevy van with the million miles that you've seen. The author lived in that van when he worked as a "Boomer" railroader. He still drives it today on a regular basis and it still runs just as good as when he bought it brand-new in 1976 from Central Chevrolet in Atlanta, Georgia. William moved his family to North Dakota in 1977 using the Chevy van, and added a block heater once he got into the North country! With limited funds in 1976, he opted for three on the tree and declined the options of power steering and power brakes. As a result, there is very little to go wrong with his Chevy van! For more about the van, check out the Appearances section of this website. 

1976 Chevrolet Van