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11/14/2006



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP marks opening of state-of-the-art locomotive shop at Nebraska yard



To keep up with escalating coal demand, Union Pacific Railroad is trying to maintain and repair locomotives as quickly as possible. A new state-of-the-art locomotive shop UP constructed in North Platte, Neb., earlier this year — with an assist from a GE – Transportation continuous-improvement team — already is helping the Class I meet that goal.

Yesterday, UP and GE commemorated the opening of the facility at Bailey Yard, where crews will maintain and repair six GE AC-traction locomotives daily, or more than 2,000 units annually. GE locomotive-powered trains move more than 95 percent of the coal handled by UP.

Spanning the length of a football field, the 24/7 shop features wireless systems that remotely monitor locomotive health and generate an electronic inbound report on individual repair or maintenance requirements. Crews can plan repair and maintenance activities 24 hours before a locomotive arrives at the shop.

“Our employees are better able to handle run-through coal trains with much the same intensity and efficiency as a NASCAR pit crew during a race,” said Cameron Scott, UP general superintendent of train services-North Platte operations, in a prepared statement. “We have already seen significant improvements in both the number of trains we handle each day and the amount of time it takes us to inspect, repair or provide maintenance on coal locomotives.”


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