Mergers have affected railroads in ways few other industries have experienced, and in the last 50 years they have steered the business direction of American railroads. Leaders Count brings readers the dramatic story of how the Aurora Branch Railroad, which spanned from Aurora, Illinois, to Chicago, grew and developed into the modern-day BNSF Railway. The story begins with the many ways railroads shaped and settled the country and tells how the founders’ commitment to their dreams ensured the railroad’s success. The profiles of tenacious leaders like James J. Hill, known as The Empire Builder, and Matthew Rose, current CEO of BNSF, will inspire readers. This is a case history of the business strategies that have taken this company from its humble beginnings to the industry giant that it is today. More than 75 photos from the company’s extensive archives accompany the story of BNSF’s evolution. As one of the largest and most successful of U.S. railroads, BNSF Railway is a vibrant example of today’s freight railroad industry. While the book provides a brief history of railroads in general, including the five principal companies making up the present day BNSF, its focus is on the critical decisions and strategies implemented by its leaders, choices that ensured the railroad’s survival.