Union Pacific Railroad will strengthen Nebraska’s and Iowa’s transportation infrastructures by investing more than $9 million in the rail line between near Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Arlington, Neb. The project, funded entirely by Union Pacific without taxpayer dollars, began April 1 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.
The railroad will replace 19,300 concrete railroad ties and install 10,250 tons of rock ballast. In addition, crews will renew the surfaces at 19 road crossings and install two switches. The project is one of nearly 1,500 Union Pacific will complete across its 32,000-mile network this year to help improve train operating efficiency, reduce motorist wait times at crossings and enhance safety.
“Union Pacific helps businesses connect with consumers, suppliers and markets across the nation and around the world,” said Donna Kush, Union Pacific vice president - Public Affairs, Northern Region. “In addition to helping move our customers’ goods safely and efficiently, our investments support communities by reducing traffic congestion, facilitating industrial development and promoting economic expansion.”
Union Pacific is using a modern track renewal train, the TRT 909, which can install rail and concrete ties in one pass. The TRT can install up to 6,000 ties in a twelve-hour day. The track renewal train consists of approximately 30 rail cars, with each car capable of carrying 210 concrete ties. Three sets of gantry cranes move the concrete ties forward for the TRT to drop into place. If rail also is being renewed, the machine then threads the new rail onto the ties. The old wooden ties are picked up and discarded rail is threaded out as the machine works its way down the track. A conveyor positions the removed ties for the gantry cranes to load them onto rail cars for movement to a facility for sorting.
Improved and additional freight rail capacity helps reduce highway congestion and contributes to a cleaner environment. One Union Pacific train can take up to 300 trucks off America’s roads, and Union Pacific can move one ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel.