Roseville, Calif., October 06, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad will continue its aggressive investment in American transportation infrastructure by reigniting its double-track initiative on the Sunset Route in the Southwestern United States. With an investment of roughly $18 million by the end of this year, Union Pacific will complete the double-track of nine miles of this premium line in Imperial County, Calif., and another 9 miles in Maricopa County, Ariz., with more work planned for 2011. This project is part of a $2.6 billion total spend by Union Pacific in 2010 to support current and future freight transportation needs of its customers.
Known as the "Stormy" for its wild summer thunderstorms, historians dubbed it the Sunset Route. It has become a vital link in the 32,000-mile Union Pacific system. To respond to returning traffic volumes, Union Pacific is in the midst of an ongoing effort to add capacity to this critical 760-mile corridor between Los Angeles and El Paso. With 24 percent of all freight cars handled by Union Pacific originating or terminating in Southern California, the Sunset Route is a key corridor for North American railroads. Marine containers stacked two high on "double-stack" trains dominate the route, but construction materials including lumber, plywood, steel and cement, are also common cargo. Gasoline additive ethanol is another important commodity as well as automobiles and automobile parts moving through the Mexican gateways at Nogales, Ariz., and Calexico, Calif.
The Sunset Route is also an important transcontinental route for the package express business, finished automobiles and grain. Less than one-quarter of the Sunset Route had a second double-track when Union Pacific acquired it in 1996 as part of the merger with Southern Pacific. Since then, Union Pacific has built 292 miles of new main line double-track through this corridor to handle the nation's growing freight traffic.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and provides Americans with a fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible and safe mode of freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad emphasizes excellent customer service and offers competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.