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UP named top ‘military-friendly’ employer

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 9/29/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image More than 17 percent of Union Pacific employees have military backgrounds.Photo – UP

Union Pacific Railroad was designated the top “Military Friendly Employer” in the transportation industry for 2021 and ranked No. 7 overall by Viqtory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine.

More than 17 percent of UP employees, or 6,300, are veterans and active-service military members. 

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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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UP's Fritz calls for action on racial injustice

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 6/5/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Lance FritzPhoto – up.com

Union Pacific Corp. Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz earlier this week posted on the railroad's website a statement about the recent racial injustice events that spurred protests throughout the nation over the past week.

Fritz began by noting that UP employees formed the Black Employee Network 40 years ago to help company leadership understand and respond to the company's African American employees.

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UP reduces Bailey Yard workforce

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 5/22/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad earlier this week laid off an unspecified number of workers in the mechanical department at Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska. The layoff was related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Platte Telegraph reported. Raquel Espinoza, UP's senior director of corporate communications and media relations, confirmed the workforce reduction in an email. She declined to indicate how many people were affected.  "Union Pacific is experiencing volume declines as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the country," she said in a statement to the Telegraph. "We are operating fewer locomotives and rail cars, requiring us to reduce our workforce in the mechanical department." Bailey Yard lost about 250 jobs last year, based on local estimates, as the Class I implemented its Unified Plan 2020 operating model throughout its network, the newspaper reported. For the week ending May 16, UP handled 67,603 carloads, down from 92,535 during the same week in 2019, according to Association of American Railroads data.  

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UP shutters Cold Connect service

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 5/12/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Cold Connect is a Loup Logistics service that moves refrigerated products from the West Coast to UP's warehouse in Rotterdam, New York.Photo – upcoldconnect.com

Customers were notified late last week that Union Pacific Railroad is ceasing operations of Cold Connect, a Loup Logistics service that moves refrigerated products from the West Coast to UP's warehouse in Rotterdam, New York.

On May 8, employees were informed that the service would permanently close and most Cold Connect-related positions have been eliminated, said UP spokesman Tim McMahan in an email.

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UP to host annual meeting via audio

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 4/30/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Corp. announced yesterday it will conduct its 2020 annual shareholders meeting on May 14 only through live audio. The decision to cancel an in-person event was made to protect the health of shareholders, employees and other stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic, UP officials said in a press release. All UP shareholders as of the close of business on March 20 are invited to attend the meeting, they said.

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Report: UP to cut executive salaries, require nonunion workers to take unpaid leave

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 4/22/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Corp.'s senior executives will take a 25 percent salary cut and nonunion workers will be required to take unpaid leave, as the Class I responds to a drop in volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dow Jones Newswires reported according to Morningstar.com. The executive salary reductions will apply from May through August. Nonunion workers will be required to take one week of unpaid leave each month during the same period. About 85 percent of UP's 37,000 workforce are represented by unions. UP logged a 24 percent drop in carloads and intermodal containers shipped last week versus a year ago. UP reports first-quarter 2020 results on Thursday.

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UP pledges science-based targets for GHG emission reduction

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 3/10/2020 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad today announced its intention to set science-based targets to determine how much and when the Class I will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to support global climate change goals.UP sent a a commitment letter to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which independently assesses corporate emissions reduction targets in line with what climate scientists say is needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals — limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, UP officials said in a press release."As one of the nation's largest freight railroads, it is our responsibility to act as environmental stewards, reducing emissions and enabling sustainable economic growth across our supply chain," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz. "This is a challenging task as it means examining every aspect of our operation and looking for innovative solutions while continuing to create long-term value for our shareholders, customers, employees and the communities where we operate."UP's target will use the SBTi's Sectoral Decarbonization Approach Transport tool, which models targets for direct and indirect transportation emissions. UP anticipates finalizing its target and submitting it for approval to the SBTi within a year, company officials said.

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UP awards $5.3 million in community grants

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 10/22/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific's Community Ties Giving Program has awarded more than $5.3 million in local grants to nearly 600 nonprofit organizations in 23 states, the Class I announced yesterday.The grants provide funding in UP's priority cause areas: safety, workforce development and community spaces, while a smaller portion is allocated to assist communities with local needs across the railroad's system."By investing in high-quality nonprofits and programs in these cause areas, where our employees live and work, we achieve a step toward our mission of service while helping communities grow and prosper," said UP Foundation President Scott Moore in a press release.Local grants provide funding ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 to local organizations. Recipients are selected through a competitive application process. The next local grant application period will run April through May 2020.

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Slower freight-rail volume hit UP's bottom line in Q3

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 10/17/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad's third-quarter 2019 earnings were weaker than expected by Wall Street analysts, as freight-rail volumes continued to decline in a slower economy.The Class I reported today that net income for the quarter was $1.6 billion, or $2.22 diluted earnings per share (EPS), compared to $1.6 billion, or $2.15 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago, UP officials said today in a press release.The railroad's EPS for the quarter missed Wall Street's consensus estimate of $2.33, according to Benjamin Hartford, senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. Baird's Q3 estimate for UP was $2.29.UP posted an operating ratio of 59.5 percent for the quarter, a 2.2 point-improvement over the same period last year and a quarterly record for the Class I. Operating income fell 2 percent to $2.2 billion and operating revenue dropped 7 percent to $5.5 billion compared to Q3 2018's numbers."Given the challenging volume environment we delivered solid third-quarter financial results, including an all-time best quarterly operating ratio of 59.5 percent," said UP Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz. "The work our employees are doing as part of Unified Plan 2020 is foundational to the company's success and I am confident there are additional improvement opportunities going forward for our customers and shareholders."UP's Q3 freight revenue declined 7 percent, as core pricing gains were offset by lower volumes, decreased fuel surcharge revenue and negative mix. Specifically, agricultural products revenue declined 1 percent; industrial was down 1 percent; premium, down 9 percent; and energy, down 20 percent.For the rest of 2019, UP will continue to build on the successes of its operating plan, Unified Plan 2020, Fritz said."We remain squarely focused on driving long-term shareholder value by appropriately investing in the railroad and returning excess cash to our shareholders," he said.

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UP shuffles roles in marketing and sales, Loup Logistics

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 9/30/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad last week announced four appointments affecting marketing and sales.Effective immediately, Jacque Bendon has been named vice president of industrial products; Kari Kirchhoefer, VP of Loup Logistics; Seana Fairchild, assistant VP of industrial products; and Elise Gosch, general director of strategic planning and communications, UP officials said in a press release.Bendon, previously AVP of industrial products, marketing and sales, succeeds Kirchhoefer. Bendon has worked for UP in various roles for 21 years, having begun her career in corporate audit. She's held leadership positions in the industrial products, chemicals and UP distribution services departments.Kirchhoefer, previously vice president of industrial products, marketing and sales, succeeds Shawntell Kroese as VP of Loup Logistics. Kirchhoefer has served UP for more than 26 years and held leadership positions in the chemicals, streamline, automotive and agriculture products departments, and in the market development and sales center.Succeeding Bendon is Fairchild, who previously was general director of strategic planning and communications, marketing and sales. Fairchild joined UP 15 years ago, and has held roles in the commercial strategy, customer experience, intermodal, chemicals and tax departments.Previously senior director of commercial strategy and pricing, Gosch succeeds Fairchild. Gosch has been with UP for more than 15 years and held roles in the distribution services, agriculture products, industrial products, intermodal departments, and in the market development and sales center.

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UP CFO Knight to retire; Hamann named successor

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 9/27/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image UP CFO Rob Knight will retire Dec. 31.Photo – up.com

Union Pacific Chief Financial Officer Rob Knight will retire on Dec. 31, the Class I announced yesterday. Jennifer Hamann will succeed him effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Knight joined UP in 1980 and held numerous leadership positions prior to being named CFO in 2004. During his tenure as CFO, he led many initiatives that helped the company earn the highest market capitalization of any North American transportation company, UP officials said in a press release.

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UP recognized as 'military friendly' employer

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 8/28/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad was recognized once again as a "Military Friendly Employer" by Victory Media, the publisher of G.I. Jobs.This year's designation was the fifth consecutive time the magazine recognized UP among employers that "create sustainable and meaningful benefit for the military community after they transition into civilian life," UP officials said in a press release.More than 17 percent of UP employees have military experience, with some still active in the National Guard or Reserves. In the last five years, 24 percent of new hires were veterans.UP's veteran employee resource group dubbed UP VETS helps to attract, develop and retain veterans at the railroad.

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Metra cancels Union Pacific West schedule changes

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 8/27/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific determined that Metra’s proposed changes on UP West could result in conflicts between commuter and freight trains.Photo – Metra

Chicago commuter railroad Metra and Union Pacific Railroad have agreed to cancel a previously announced schedule change on the UP West line, which would have adjusted departure times of some trains on the line by Sept. 3. 

UP determined that the proposed changes on UP West could result in conflicts between commuter and freight trains along the busy rail corridor, Metra officials said in a press release.

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Union Pacific reports PTC progress

Rail News Home Union Pacific Railroad 7/24/2019 Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad
image Union Pacific Railroad has implemented positive train control on 1,081 route miles in the second quarter.Photo – UP

Union Pacific Railroad yesterday announced that it has implemented positive train control (PTC) on 1,081 route miles in the second quarter, bringing its PTC-operated route miles to 14,678, or 86 percent. 

UP now is running PTC operations in 22 states, and is working with freight and passenger railroads to implement PTC on its remaining 2,384 route miles by 2020, UP officials said in a press release. 

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UP posts higher profit, lower expenses in Q2

Union Pacific Railroad reported today that 2019 second-quarter net income rose 4 percent to $1.6 billion, or $2.22 per diluted share, compared with $1.5 billion, or $1.98 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago.

UP's operating income rose 8 percent to $2.3 billion and the company's operating ratio (OR) improved to 59.6 percent from 63.0 percent compared with second-quarter 2018.

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