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UP upgrades Nebraska line, recognizes Rochelle as first 'train town' registrant


On Friday, Union Pacific Railroad announced it will spend $8.7 million to upgrade a line between Sarben and Joyce, Neb.

To be completed by late August, the work involves replacing more than 12 miles of rail and 60,700 ties, and renewing surfaces at 12 grade crossings. The project is part of UP’s $3.6 billion capital spending budget for 2012.

UP also announced that Rochelle, Ill., has been awarded the first membership in its “Train Town USA Registry,” which is part of a year-long celebration to mark the railroad’s 150th anniversary.

Rochelle’s railroading history began in 1854, when the Air Line Railroad was completed between Chicago and the town of Lane, which later was be renamed Rochelle. A forerunner of UP, the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad built a line into Rochelle in 1855. A second main line track was built by the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Co. — which merged with UP in 1995 — between 1898 and 1899.