Union Pacific Railroad has been marking the occasion all year, and now it’s official. Yesterday, the Class I turned 150 years old.
UP was founded July 1, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act. The railroad — which helped construct the first transcontinental railroad, survived multiple economic crises, supported the military through various conflicts, and overcame numerous hurricanes, floods and droughts — is just one of a handful of companies to reach the 150-year milestone, UP officials said in a prepared statement.
“We believe President Lincoln would be as proud of today’s Union Pacific as we are,” said Jack Koraleski, interim president and chief executive officer. “Union Pacific has never been stronger or better positioned to serve our 10,000 customers. … And [we] play a key role in the nearly 7,300 communities of which we are a part.”
The Class I continues to build its rail network to support U.S. businesses and the nation’s economy, UP officials said. The railroad has invested more than $31 billion the past 10 years in infrastructure improvements and has set a record $3.6 billion capital spending budget in 2012.
Some ongoing infrastructure projects include adding a second line along the Sunset Corridor, which runs from Los Angeles to El Paso, Texas; constructing a $400 million intermodal and fueling facility in Santa Teresa, N.M.; completing about $500 million worth of capacity improvements and maintenance projects in Louisiana to help accommodate agriculture, chemical and crude oil demand; and improving the Central Corridor through Blair, Neb., by cutting 25 miles from the distance trains need to travel around Omaha, Neb.