Tag Archives: Union Pacific

What is a GREEN Railroad?

The Railpower GG20B Green Goat is a low-emissions diesel hybrid switcherlocomotive built by Railpower Technologies Corp. It is powered by a single Caterpillar C9 six cylinder inline engine developing 300 horsepower (224 kW), which is also connected to a large battery bank where both sources combine for a total power output of 2,000 horsepower (1,490 kW).

Union Pacific Saves Fuel While Increasing Efficiency

Fuel reduction initiatives save nearly $7 million during first quarter

Omaha, Neb., April 28, 2006 – As fuel prices continue to rise, the pain at the pump is leading consumers to look for ways to improve fuel economy. The same is true for the nation’s largest railroad. Imagine the cost of fueling a 4,000 horsepower vehicle with a 4,900-gallon tank. Union Pacific fuels nearly 8,000 of these vehicles every day. They are the diesel locomotives that move the consumer goods, food, energy and construction materials fueling the nation’s economy.

Even though fuel prices are at record highs, and the railroad is hauling more materials than ever before (four percent more than last year at this time), Union Pacific was able to shave two percent off its diesel fuel consumption during the first quarter of 2006 – resulting in nearly $7 million in savings. The railroad was able to achieve the savings through a number of energy conservation initiatives, including:
* Creation and deployment of the Fuel Masters program to reward locomotive engineers for efficiently operating trains
* Acquisition of newer, more fuel-efficient locomotives
* Implementation of changes in traffic flow and operations to move freight more efficiently.

“We all have a role to play in helping conserve fuel for our nation, and Union Pacific employees are doing it every day,” said Jim Young, president and CEO, Union Pacific. “In a relatively short period of time, our employees have made great strides in implementing and creating world-class energy conservation techniques that are helping us to move more freight while saving fuel. With their help we will continue to improve our efficiency while delivering the goods America needs.”

Railroad versus Road

In terms of fuel efficiency, railroads are three times more fuel-efficient than trucks. If just 10 percent of the freight moved by highway were diverted to rail, the nation could save as much as 200 million gallons of fuel each year. And, railroad fuel efficiency has increased by 72 percent since 1980. Prior to 1980, a gallon of diesel fuel moved one ton of freight an average of 235 miles. In 2001, the same amount of fuel moved one ton of freight an average of 406 miles. Overall, railroads and rail suppliers have reduced the weight and increased the capacity of rail cars to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

Studies also indicate the diversion of freight traffic from truck to rail can reduce highway congestion. For example:
* One intermodal train can take 280 trucks (equal to 1,100 cars) off our already congested highways
* Trains carrying other types of freight can take up to 500 trucks off the highway.

A study of 50 major U.S. metro areas by transportation consultant Wendell Cox found that the diversion of 25 percent of truck freight to rail would lead, by 2025, to:
* 2.8 billion fewer traveler-hours wasted in congested traffic
* A savings of 16 billion gallons of fuel
* Nearly 800,000 fewer tons of air pollution.

“Union Pacific is committed to the development and use of new technologies to preserve the environment for future generations,” said Young. “Environmental protection is a primary management responsibility as well as the responsibility of every Union Pacific employee.”

A Green Railroad Did you know that railroads are one of the most environmentally friendly modes of freight transportation? It’s true. Freight trains are three times more fuel-efficient than over-the-road trucks and have less of an impact on air emissions than trucks.

With nearly 55 percent of its locomotives certified under existing EPA Tier 0, Tier 1 and Tier 2 standards, UP owns the cleanest fleet in the nation, using technology to further reduce fuel consumption and diesel engine exhaust-related emissions.

Union Pacific has been working with two manufacturers to field-test new, high-horsepower locomotives that surpass the EPA’s most stringent emission standards. UP was able to test the locomotives under severe operating conditions before the locomotives went into production. Since 2000, more than 2,600 new fuel-efficient, long-haul, high-horsepower locomotives have been added to Union Pacific’s fleet. More than 1,700 older locomotives were retired, and more than 1,700 locomotive diesel engines were overhauled or rebuilt.

To reduce emissions in the train yard, Union Pacific tested the world’s first diesel-battery hybrid switch locomotive in early 2002. The “Green Goat” is similar in concept to the Toyota Prius automobile, which relies on both a gasoline engine and on a battery-powered electric motor.

The Green Goat, however, depends entirely on its large, onboard storage batteries, which are charged by a small diesel engine, to provide all propulsion power. The Green Goat hybrid locomotive is estimated to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter by up to 80, and reduce fuel consumption by at least 16 percent, compared to a conventional switch locomotive.

Union Pacific also is pioneering another low-emissions switch locomotive, the “Genset Switcher.” This prototype uses modified, low-emissions EPA-certified “off-road” diesel engines (derived from low-emissions, truck-style diesel engines) and was delivered to the railroad in late 2005.

Like the Green Goat hybrid, the Genset is expected to reduce emission of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter by up to 80 percent and achieve a similar 16 percent reduction in fuel consumption. In 2007, some 150 Gensets are scheduled to begin service.

AL GORE, take note, these people are trying!

A lot of us think more mass transit when we think “Green Railroad”. Both freight and passenger are important.

Take a look at an “OP-ED” viewpoint on green railroads. Thought provoking!

 

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https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/union-pacific-the-railroad-established-by-abraham-lincoln-to-span-the-continent/

 

CREATE Program awarded $1.25 million for Chicago grade separation project

Illinois federal, state and Chicago officials late last week announced a $1.25 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that will be used for a grade separation project in Chicago that is part of the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program.

The grant will fund design and engineering services to construct a grade separation for Union Pacific Railroad‘s double track main line that crosses 95th Street at Eggleston Avenue in Chicago. On a typical day, the crossing handles 24 UP and CSX trains and two Amtrak trains, as well as 24,000 motor vehicles and 700 buses, according to a press release issued by CREATE.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and Illinois Department of Transportation received the funding, which was issued as part of the FRA’s Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP) by Rail Program. CREATE competed against applicants for a share of $10 million in funding to improve grade crossings and track along routes that transport energy products including crude oil and ethanol.

CREATE’s grant award was announced by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), IDOT and Chicago city officials.

“Separating train traffic from vehicle traffic is first and foremost a safety issue — not just for those crossing the tracks, but for those who are counting on first-responders to make it through traffic during an emergency,” said Durbin. “Chicago is the center of rail transportation in the Midwest and while that boosts economic activity, it can slow down surrounding communities that have to deal with increases in traffic and noise, and pose safety issues from trains carrying hazardous material such as crude oil.

CREATE is a partnership that includes the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads. The program is designed to eliminate freight-rail and motor vehicle bottlenecks, boost northeastern Illinois’ economy and improve the region’s overall safety and environment.

Union Pacific devotes vast resources in Texas to pursue cross-border traffic

Cross–border traffic into and out of Mexico currently generates about 10 percent of UP’s annual volume.

By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor

There are 12 millions cows in Texas, which leads the nation in herded cattle. There’s something else roaming the state in large numbers, too: trucks.

Texas tops the United States in the volume of freight trucked to and from Mexico, where manufacturing is booming. A microcosm of the state’s massive truck traffic is evident along Interstate 35 at the U.S./Mexico border in Laredo. Each day, about 12,000 trucks cross the border, mostly via two bridges dedicated to commercial traffic.

The Laredo crossing is the busiest for trucks entering the United States, and the Port of Laredo is the largest inland port along the border, home to more than 500 freight forwarders, 200 trucking companies and 100 U.S. customs brokers.

The crossing is a busy one for rail, as well, especially for Union Pacific Railroad. The Class I serves the area’s international rail bridge and operates a nearby intermodal terminal that’s overstuffed at 180 percent of capacity. The only railroad that serves all six major gateways along the border, UP also taps a heavily truck-used Texas crossing in Eagle Pass, and two others in Brownsville and El Paso.

With so many trucks traversing the region, the Class I is on a mission to divert more of them to rail. It’s a crucial pursuit, given UP’s revenue and traffic last year declined 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively, compared with 2014 results. To seize what’s become a golden opportunity, the railroad aims to better position its network and resources in the state to take on additional traffic, such as a bigger flow of consumer goods and auto parts.

Texas already is a major cog in UP’s 23-state network, home to about one-sixth of the railroad’s 47,000 employees and one-fifth of its 32,000 track miles. The railroad originates or terminates nearly 2.8 million carloads in Texas annually, or about 30 percent of yearly volume.

A busy rail bridge between Eagle Pass, Texas, and Piedras Negras, Mexico, includes a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility that scans each rail car on a train.
Photo: Union Pacific Railroad

UP also devotes a lot of dollars to its operations there. On an annual basis, its payroll exceeds $750 million, in-state purchases total $2.6 billion and capital investment approaches $1 billion. The railroad last year allocated $800 million in capital to Texas — the most allotted to any state — after spending $623 million in 2014. From 2010 to 2015, UP spent $3.6 billion to bolster infrastructure in the state.

Ultimately, hardening infrastructure and expanding capacity is vital to achieving the truck diversion goal. New and expanded facilities coupled with doubled and upgraded track also will help the railroad build traffic in other key segments, UP executives say.

The Class I serves 12 ports and taps a large chemical market and oil/gas industry in Texas. In addition, the railroad hauls a lot of rock and aggregates, a traffic sector that figures to gain a boost from increased highway construction funded by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

Banking on the border

But cross-border traffic is the primary business-growth target. That critical segment generates about 10 percent of UP’s total annual volume — a percentage UP execs are convinced will ratchet up over the next several years.

“We are very bullish on Mexico in general in the long term,” said UP Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz during an earnings conference held Jan. 21. “It’s a vibrant economy, it has got a vibrant middle class, and our access to the six primary rail gateways to and from Mexico give us a real great opportunity to participate in that economy.”

Cross-border traffic is expected to grow in part because Mexico’s manufacturing output is accelerating. The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) expects output to grow more than 3 percent in 2016.

Automotive production is exploding as low interest rates and gasoline prices entice buyers, and industrial production is booming as consumer demand mounts and a near-sourcing trend — which is drawing more raw material suppliers to south Texas — continues to gain steam.

Mexico will be Latin America’s manufacturing growth leader for the foreseeable future, according to a MAPI report issued late last year.

“Mexico is tied with Canada as the second-largest importer to the U.S. after China, and Mexico is becoming second,” says Bernardo Ayala, UP’s vice president of Mexico markets. “Economic integration is very strong there. Mexico is doing a good job of continuing to attract foreign investment.”

Texas transportation leaders expect the healthy cross-border activity and the state’s explosive population growth to drive a freight volume ramp-up over the next two decades. A freight mobility plan drafted late last year by the Texas Department of Transportation predicts that by 2040, freight moving in the state will nearly double to 3.75 billion tons while cross-border cargo will skyrocket 196 percent.

The plan prompted the Texas Freight Advisory Committee to warn that such an extreme increase could worsen the state’s already congested highway system, meaning alternative modes — such as rail — will become more important to ensure economic competitiveness. That’s music to UP execs’ ears.

“The state knows a massive amount of freight is coming, and that rail is a key part to their future,” says Brenda Mainwaring, vice president of public affairs for UP’s Southern Region. “We see the same drivers as the state. Texas is huge part of our franchise, and we operate it that way.”

Infrastructure an emphasis

To accommodate current freight demand and prep for the heavy volume to come, UP aims to keep adding capacity and upgrading infrastructure throughout the state.

“Texas is a business-friendly state, and has been for a long time,” says UP Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations Scott Moore. “We will continue to make investments in the state as business dictates.”

Growing business with a large beer and wine producer/marketer dictated the need for UP to construct the Kinney County Railport, which was completed late last year in Spofford near the Eagle Pass crossing.

The $40 million box-car cleaning, washing and repair facility provides a pipeline of cars for customers that ship millions of cases of beer annually, helping to improve operational efficiency and network fluidity, says UP Director of Public Affairs Ivan Jaime.

Workers at the railport — which launched operations Jan. 4 — clean and prepare box cars to meet food-grade guidelines. That way, cars arrive quicker and are ready to be loaded by beer customers in Mexico, then returned to the United States for distribution.

The major customer served by the facility is Constellation Brands Inc., which is spending $2 billion to expand its brewery and glass bottle production plants in Nava, Coahuila, Mexico, about 50 miles from the railport. When the brewery expansion is completed by 2017’s end, the company expects to boost production capacity from 10 million to 25 million hectoliters.

The plant produces such beer brands as Corona Extra, Corona Light and Modelo Especial, which are imported to the United States.

Crews at the Kinney County Railport in Spofford, Texas, primarily clean and repair box cars for a major Mexican brewery near the U.S. border.
Photo: Union Pacific Railroad

Ferrocarril Mexicano S.A. de C.V. (Ferromex) — UP’s interchange partner in Mexico that’s partly owned by the Class I — previously staged and inspected cars near the brewery. But that became a redundant check, says Jaime.

The railport — the only dedicated food-grade car cleaning facility in UP’s network, says Mainwaring — now provides Constellation Brands about 90 50-foot box cars per day to meet the current need. The railport is designed to handle 240 cars per day.

From autos to avocados

As it flows in from Mexico in large volumes, beer continues to be a growing business line for UP, says Ayala. So are certain imported perishable items, such as avocados and limes.

UP also anticipates a business boost from Mexico’s energy reform, which has opened the sector to private investment, and poses potential for oil and fuel oil imports, says Ayala.

In addition, the structure of power generation that was controlled by the Mexican government is changing, with a conversion to natural gas, he says.

But the most promising cross-border opportunity is the automotive sector. In 2015, vehicle exports had reached a record 2.9 million units, about 70 percent of which were exported to the United States, the Mexican Automobile Industry Association estimates. Auto production will exceed 4 million units by 2017, the association projects.

“We expect production to grow to 5 million units in the 2018-19 timeframe,” says Ayala, adding that UP works with all major automakers, including Toyota, Kia, GM, Ford, Nissan and Infinity.

At the border, UP interchanges auto shipments with either Ferromex or Kansas City Southern de Mexico S.A. de C.V., which serve the plants.

Healthy vehicle production also is fueling auto parts traffic that’s hauled into Mexico via containers. In fourth-quarter 2015, UP’s finished vehicle traffic climbed 8 percent to 129,700 units and auto parts volume rose 8 percent to 94,600 units compared with the same 2014 period.

At the same time, other containerized cargo coming into the United States — such as refrigerators, washing machines and flat screen TVs — has boosted UP’s intermodal fortunes, says Ayala.

“It’s been a growing intermodal sector, especially products for the U.S. consumption market,” he says.

But the mounting wave of consumer products has been both a boon and a strain for the Port Laredo intermodal terminal. With so much volume pouring into the facility — especially from Mexico — it’s bursting at the seams.

“It’s the only intermodal terminal on the border in Texas,” says Mainwaring, adding that the facility handles autos and auto parts, grain, beer, food products and other consumer goods.

Time for a bigger terminal

Enter a $90 million project designed to greatly improve and expand the terminal. UP has divided the project into two phases.

Launched last year, the first phase involves massive sitework to prepare more than 37 acres for the facility’s larger footprint. That work was completed recently. The phase also includes the construction of an automated, state-of-the-art entrance that will accommodate 24/7 operations. The railroad expects to complete the entrance later this year.

The second phase calls for doubling the terminal’s size to handle more truckloads. UP has not yet determined a start date for the phase, which will involve trackwork and expanded parking areas.

A date to start a planned expansion at the San Antonio Intermodal Terminal (SAIT) hasn’t been scheduled yet, either. Projected to begin over the next several years, the work calls for building additional track to handle longer trains — stretching 8,000 or 9,000 feet — and creating more parking spaces.

The more than 300-acre SAIT performs about 190,000 lifts per year and is designed to handle 250,000 lifts annually at full build out. Opened in late 2008, the facility serves San Antonio, Austin, Eagle Pass and Laredo, as well as the entire south Texas market. The terminal is located within 200 miles of the border and hundreds of Mexican factories.

UP also hasn’t set a construction start date for another key project: a huge classification yard in Hearne. The railroad more than a year ago announced its intent to build what will become one of its biggest classification yards.

The site was chosen for the facility because of the populations and metroplexes in the region, says Moore. Seven UP lines converge in the area, connecting markets in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, as well as other points in east Texas and the Gulf Coast. Work might not necessarily start in 2016, he says.

Greater access, greater growth

Meanwhile, the railroad continues to build, upgrade and tap other infrastructure in the state. In August 2015, UP relocated its Brownsville border crossing from the Brownsville and Matamoros bridge to the new West Rail International Bridge across the Rio Grande River, about 15 miles downstream.

The first new international rail crossing between the United States and Mexico since 1910, the bridge provides a more efficient route, eliminating more than half a dozen grade crossings in downtown Brownsville. Additionally, a new customs facility was established by the bridge to ensure a smoother transition for the movement of goods, UP execs say.

In terms of trackwork, the Class I last year replaced 27 miles of rail and repaired surfaces at 13 crossings southwest of Dalhart; replaced 20 miles of rail and repaired surfaces at six crossings near Sierra Blanca; and replaced 81,077 ties, installed 59,435 tons of ballast and repaired surfaces at 114 crossings on a line between Waco and Hearne.

Crews also began laying 38 miles of double track in the Glidden Subdivision on the west side of Houston to accommodate growing traffic into and out of the city. When the project is completed in April, the new double track will increase operational efficiency, UP execs say.

So, it isn’t a matter of hoping enough business will be there once UP puts the necessary infrastructure in place. It’s more about ensuring the railroad is prepared to divert more of the multiplying cargo from highway to rail.

It helps that parties in the United States and Mexico are working well together in the manufacturing realm, says Ayala. That’s an impetus behind Texas’ freight explosion, he believes.

“The most exciting thing is the integration of both countries,” says Ayala.

CP ‘disappointed’ in UP CEO’s comments on proposed NS merger

Canadian Pacific officials today said they were “surprised and disappointed” to learn that Union Pacific Railroad‘s chief executive is reportedly working behind the scenes with other railroads to prevent consolidation of the Class I rail industry.

They reiterated their view that a CP merger with Norfolk Southern Corp. would enhance competition and is in the public’s interest. They noted that UP itself has been the product of numerous mergers that “created one of the largest route networks in North America.”

“It is unfortunate that UP would try to use political pressure to co-opt the regulatory process and prevent other railroads from enjoying these same benefits and becoming more effective competitors to UP,” CP officials said in a press release.

UP Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Lance Fritz was quoted by the Journal of Commerce as saying a CP-NS merger is not in the best interest of the rail industry or customers. Fritz was speaking to attendees of the annual winter meeting of Midwest Association of Rail Shippers, according to the Journal.

A CP-NS merger would damage competition and set off a string of consolidations that would present challenging headwinds to the North American rail industry, the Journal reported.

There are a lot of risks in front of us. I’ve outlined a lot of them,” Fritz said, according to the Journal. “But, job 1, from our perspective, is to stop a Class I merger from occurring.”

CP officials responded to the reported comments by adding that Fritz’s “attempts to rally support for the status quo among the other Class Is demonstrate a disregard for competition, the processes of the STB, and the needs of shippers and the broader economy.”

Why young professionals plan to keep working on the railroad

Elizabeth Hutchison was living in Chicago employed in corporate communications in heavy manufacturing when she learned about an opportunity doing similar work for Union Pacific Railroad. It was a no-brainer for this Millennial to make the move to Omaha as a UP senior communications manager nearly six years ago, but not because she was a native Nebraskan.

“The appeal to me was the opportunity to work for Union Pacific,” she says. “Rail is such a critical industry.”

Elizabeth Hutchison
Elizabeth Hutchison

Hutchison also appreciates the security of working in a 150-year-old industry, as well as the diverse experience it offers.

“You can’t be siloed here,” she explains. “You work with people across the railroad. We’re in 23 states. The big machine that is the rail industry is fascinating.”

Career stability matters. Hutchison’s reasons for not only choosing but staying with a career in rail are echoed by many of her generation working for Class Is in non-agreement positions. Scott St. Clair, manager of strategic planning at Norfolk Southern Corp., came to the railroad five years ago right after graduating from college. He wasn’t recruited — he sought out NS.

“I was familiar with the company growing up. Rail is a strong industry, and it’s really safe,” he says. “The railroads felt the effects of the economic downturn, but it’s an industry people rely on.”

In other words, railroads aren’t going anywhere, and neither are Hutchison and St. Clair.

While Generation Xers grew up during a time when company hopping was the norm, Millennials watched their parents struggle through a recession, losing jobs, houses, savings. The result? Even among those working in information technology, the drive to find a solid employer with lots of opportunities for growth within a single company is strong.

of planning and strategy in CN’s IT department, signed on with the railroad in 2003 after serving the road for several years as a consultant.

“I was absolutely amazed by the amount of projects going on and the company’s drive to improve,” he says. “And every two years, I’ve had an opportunity for a new job.”

One reason: For the past several years, railroad hiring managers have been on the prowl for new talent. A decade ago, looming retirements, normal attrition and traffic growth at North American railroads prompted H.R. execs to convince management to put talent recruitment and retention at a premium.

“In 2005, 75 percent of our employees were baby boomers,” says Diana Sorfleet, vice president and chief human relations officer at CSX Transportation. “Now, we’re about a third Millennials, a third Gen Xers, and a third baby boomers.”

At the end of 2014, Class Is had 8,000 more employees than a year earlier, and railroads plan to hire another 15,000 this year, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR). And contrary to popular belief, rail is competing well with other Fortune 500 industries when it comes to compensation and benefits, according to AAR. The average railroad employee’s annual salary is $109,000.

“Railroads have historically hired every 20 to 30 years, but we’re now focused on constantly refreshing our workforce to maintain a balance of age and tenure,” says Sorfleet, adding that CSX’s attrition rate the last 10 years has been around 10 percent.

Meanwhile, retention rates are strong. At NS, retention stands at about 90 percent for non-agreement employees who go through the company’s management trainee program, a comprehensive 12-month training that exposes new non-agreement employees to the whole of the railroad while also giving them an opportunity to grow a professional network, says NS Manager of College Recruiting Patrick Rickard.

“We set them up to succeed early in their careers,” he adds. “Colleges are aware of this. And we provide salary and promotions based on performance.”

 

 

Union Pacific Railroad’s New Cross-Border Facility Will Give Shippers More Options

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Union Pacific Railroad, one of the leading railroad networks in the U.S., announced the completion of its new rail facility in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The facility involved an investment of more than $400 million and was scheduled to be operational in 2015. However, Union Pacific has managed to complete the facility a year ahead and shall be inaugurating it on May 28 2014. With the opening up of the facility, the traffic entering the area is expected to increase by 500 to 800 trucks per day. This will increase Union Pacific’s cross-border traffic with Mexico leading to growth in revenue.

Union Pacific’s Santa Teresa rail facility will cater to truck to rail conversions, fueling and inspection of locomotives, and crew changing facility. The facility is expected to increase Union Pacific’s employee count by 600 by the year 2025. New Mexico is also expected to see a benefit of over $500 million once the facility is operational.

There’s not much out here other than roads, warehouses and cacti — and now a sprawling Union Pacific Railroad intermodal terminal and fueling station. Secluded as it is, what happens at this $400 million facility in a desert framed by mountains ripples through UP’s 32,000-mile U.S. network and taps into one of the largest trends in transportation rail: domestic rail growth.

Santa Teresa Facility Is Strategically Located to Benefit From Mexico Trade

Union Pacific’s Mexico Shipments Are Expected To Grow Driven By Growth In Automobile Exports

Automotive shipments accounted for 45% of Union Pacific’s overall Mexico shipments in 2012.Additionally, Union Pacific caters to 90% of the automotive shipments in and out of Mexico. Therefore, growth in automotive exports from Mexico to U.S. will help drive growth in volumes and revenues for Union Pacific.

See more about “Union Pacific — the railroad established by Congress and Abraham Lincoln to span the continent

Union Pacific Railroad is 150 Years Old

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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.