French Thompson, III



Director, Public Projects and System Design

French Thompson is currently Director of Public Projects and System Design for BNSF Railway, a role he assumed in 2015. The roles encompass leading two unique teams: Public Projects and System Design. Public Projects’ goal is to facilitate BNSF’s coordination and collaboration with public transportation agencies primarily focused on grade crossing safety and transportation infrastructure intersecting or parallel to BNSF. The System Design team focuses on long range project management efficiencies, standardization and talent development and training for BNSF’s Engineering Services department.

Before being appointed to his current role, French served as BNSF’s Director Public-Private Partnerships for the MidCon Corridor. His role encompassed forging partnerships between public entities and BNSF to develop mutually beneficial projects that can improve public livability and railroad efficiency.

French began his career with BNSF in 2006 and progressed through increasingly responsible positions including Project Engineer; Construction Roadmaster; Manager Public Projects and Manager Engineering Services and Director Public Private Partnerships.


  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics, Morehouse College
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, University of Michigan

Affiliations/Community Involvement

  • Member, AREMA
  • Executive Pastor, Freedom Church, Bedford, TX


French is an amateur photographer and enjoys the culinary arts. He married his wife, Katherine in 2010 and they have one son, French IV and a daughter, Rebecca, on the way. They reside in Fort Worth, Texas.


BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve.