Enhanced Safety and Service - Superior Security, Flexibility and Convertibility
Omaha, Neb., August 25, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad, North America's largest automotive carrier, today unveiled the AutoFlex™ convertible multi-level rail car for transporting vehicles. Built with leading-edge technology, Union Pacific's AutoFlex™ rail car is 90 feet long and can be adjusted to accommodate bi-level or tri-level vehicle transport while using the same rack structure.
The AutoFlex™ will deliver numerous benefits to Union Pacific customers, including:
Easier convertibility and more flexibility resulting from the ability to quickly and efficiently adjust the rail car to transport large or small vehicles.
Enhanced loading and unloading safety resulting from convenient access provided by an improved panel end-door structure.
Increased service quality thanks to a proven durable door edge system, improved tie-down chock systems and upgraded in-transit damage protection.
Superior security by removing exterior ladder access to the rail car roof and upper decks. The ladder is accessible only when the end doors are open.
"Improving safety and efficiency create greater value for our customers," said Julie Krehbiel, Union Pacific vice president and general manager - Automotive. "With the AutoFlex™ convertible multi-level, we can more easily adjust to changes in consumer purchasing trends and keep our customers' products moving. This is a newly engineered rail car, not a converted bi-level car, and our engineering group did an outstanding job in developing this new rail car."
"Results of our preliminary tests have been very promising in terms of vibration, stability and overall ride quality," said Barry Kanuch, Union Pacific chief mechanical officer. "We are excited about the car's performance so far."
Union Pacific holds 15 patents related to the design and process that resulted in developing this rail car.
Union Pacific's 18,000 multi-level rail car fleet is the largest in the industry. The railroad directly serves five vehicle assembly plants and distributes imported vehicles from seven West Coast ports and one Gulf Coast port. Union Pacific operates or accesses 43 vehicle distribution centers, covering most major western U.S. cities. Approximately 48 percent of Union Pacific's automotive shipments move either to or from Mexico. Shipments include finished vehicles as well as parts and materials moving in intermodal or boxcar service. Union Pacific handles more than 90 percent of all automotive rail traffic into and out of Mexico.
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.