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UP awards millions in grants to pandemic-related efforts

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 9/18/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image UP SVP and Chief Administrative Officer Scott Moore is president of the Union Pacific Foundation.Photo – up.com

Union Pacific Railroad's Community Ties Giving Program has awarded $10.2 million in local grants to more than 930 nonprofit organizations across the Class I's 23-state system.

Traditionally, UP awards grants in the company's three philanthropic priorities: safety, workforce development and community spaces. However, this year, nearly $7 million is being awarded to efforts to address needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, UP officials said in a press release.

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UP dispatches 'water train' to fight California wildfires

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 9/9/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image A UP crew used the water train to fight a fire near Spring Garden, California.Photo – UP's InsideTrack newsletter

A team of Union Pacific Railroad engineering employees have been on the front lines of battling hot spots along the railroad's track, bridges and tunnels as wildfires roar across Northern California.

The crew have been using the UP water train, which consists of two rail cars that each hold 12,500 gallons of water and a pumper. The train goes back and forth over a 7-miles stretch, traversing up to 50 miles a day, UP officials said in railroad's InsideTrack newsletter.

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UP to operate Bailey Yard as single classification yard

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 9/3/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad will begin operating its Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, as a single classification yard, the railroad confirmed yesterday. The Class I will consolidate its rail-car sorting operations in the yard's newest and westernmost hump yard. The change is due to improved customer shipping processing times, said Raquel Espinoza, UP's senior director of corporate communications and media relations, in an email. "All rail shipments will be sorted on the west side of Bailey Yard, which plays a critical role on the Union Pacific network," she said. "The changes are a testament to the team's operational excellence and safe, reliable service to customers." UP does not anticipate the changes to have a "significant impact" on its 1,600 employees in North Platte, Espinoza added. The yard's workforce went through several rounds of layoffs and other job reductions after UP unveiled its Unified Plan 2020 in late 2018, according to The North Platte Telegraph.  In May, another round of layoffs was announced due to lower traffic related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considered the world's largest rail classification yard, Bailey Yard covers 2,850 acres, reaching a total length of 8 miles.

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UP preps for Houston intermodal yard consolidation, Hurricane Laura damage

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 8/27/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image As part of its Unified Plan 2020 operational strategy, Union Pacific Railroad plans to consolidate its intermodal operations in the Houston area in fall.Currently, both the Englewood and Settegast yards process intermodal shipments. But beginning Sept. 21, the Class I will consolidate all intermodal operations for international and domestic service at Settegast Yard to make operations simpler and more efficient, said UP Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales Kenny Rocker in an Aug. 26 customer announcement.The consolidation will streamline train service and ramp operations, and help increase service frequency to multiple markets.
 
“After we move intermodal operations out of the Englewood facility, we will have additional capacity for our manifest operations at that location,” Rocker wrote. “This shift will further improve the network fluidity in the Houston area, providing … safer and more consistent service — a major win for all customers.”Meanwhile, to prepare for the effects of Hurricane Laura — which struck Louisiana and Texas today — UP over the past few days staged resources such as generators and ballast at strategic locations, and added fueling stations and crews in the Gulf Coast area.
 
“Our teams have made preparations to ensure any potential outages are addressed and repaired as quickly as possible,” Rocker wrote.

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UP's Q2 revenue, profit plummet on lower volumes

Union Pacific Corp. posted a 24 percent decline in second-quarter operating revenue and a 28 percent decline in net income as the Class I faced a 20 percent drop in volume due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Class I reported second-quarter 2020 net income of $1.1 billion, or $1.67 per diluted share, compared with $1.6 billion, or $2.22 per diluted share, a year ago.

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