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12/7/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP to speed up Kansas trains, play up wind-turbine equipment services



By February, Union Pacific Railroad expects to increase train speed through Neodesha, Kan., from 30 mph to 60 mph.

Beginning Jan. 7, the railroad will boost speed 5 mph until trains reach the new speed limit on Feb. 11.

UP recently upgraded track and improved grade crossing signals in and around Neodesha to accommodate higher train speeds.

Meanwhile, the Class I also recently joined the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), making UP the first railroad to become an association member and offer door-to-door rail transportation for wind-turbine components, UP said.

AWEA members predominantly are turbine manufacturers, wind project developers, utilities, academicians and other interested parties in the wind energy industry.

Currently, the majority of wind power equipment is trucked, but fuel costs are a concern for all transportation modes and trains are the most fuel-efficient mode, UP said.

“The wind power business is an emerging market and we intend to compete with other transportation service providers to be the leading company to serve this growing industry,” said Eric Butler, UP vice president and general manager of industrial products, in a prepared statement.



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