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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

UP to add double track on key corridor between Nebraska, Iowa


Over the next several years, Union Pacific Railroad plans to spend about $300 million to upgrade a central corridor between Fremont, Neb., and Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Earlier this year, the Class I began building three miles of a second mainline and a three-mile passing track west of Missouri Valley. The projects — which are scheduled to be completed by mid-2012 — are part of an effort to construct 29 miles of second mainline track between Fremont and Missouri Valley.

UP trains traveling from the West Coast to Chicago use the central corridor. When eastbound trains arrive in Fremont, they then use a route through Blair, Neb., to Missouri Valley to continue east to Chicago or a route through Omaha, Neb., to Missouri Valley to continue heading east.

The Blair route is 25 miles shorter than the Omaha route. However, the Blair route is a single-track line and train capacity is limited between Missouri Valley and Fremont, UP officials said in a prepared statement. When the double-track project is completed, each train that operates over the shorter Blair route will save two to four hours in transit time, UP officials estimate.

The project “will help us operate more efficiently, increase train velocity and support our ability to add capacity as our customers’ freight transportation needs grow,” said Randy Blackburn, UP’s regional vice president-north, in a prepared statement.

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More News from 9/21/2011