The Northern Pacific Railway (reporting mark NP) was a railway that operated in the west along the Canadian border of the United States. Construction began in 1870 and the main line opened all the way from the Great Lakes to the Pacific when former president Ulysses S. Grant drove in the final "golden spike" in central Montana on Sept. 8, 1883. The railroad served a large area, including extensive trackage in the states of Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. In addition the company had international lines to Winnipeg, Manitoba, and southeastern British Columbia, Canada. The company was headquartered first in Brainerd, Minnesota, then in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1970 it merged with other lines to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.