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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

UP lifts new business embargo in PRB, upgrades track on Missouri line

With upgraded track and additional capacity at hand on the joint line, Union Pacific Railroad has ended a 21-month embargo on new coal business in Wyoming’s southern Powder River Basin (PRB).

The Class I issued the embargo in July 2005 after severe storms damaged the joint line UP shares with BNSF Railway Co. and caused several derailments in the PRB.

“The embargo was originally put in place … when an aggressive track work program was under way to restore full capacity to the joint line,” said UP Vice President of Energy Doug Glass. “The embargo allowed us to protect service to our existing customers without being forced to transport coal to new customers.”

Meanwhile, UP recently began improving track on a line between St. Louis and Jefferson City, Mo. To be completed in November, the $27 million project calls for removing and installing 76,000 ties, replacing rail in various curves, replacing surfaces at 89 grade crossings and spreading 125 miles of ballast.

Each day, UP operates about 55 freight trains, and Amtrak operates two eastbound and two westbound passenger trains on the Class I’s Missouri lines.

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More News from 3/29/2007