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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP expects hybrid vehicle, ethanol traffic to continue rising in 2008


As long as consumers continue to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles in the wake of escalating gasoline prices, Union Pacific Railroad stands to move more hybrid vehicles and ethanol.

Last year, the Class I transported about 6 million light vehicles, including passenger cars, pickup trucks, sport utility and cross-over vehicles, and commercial light trucks to distribution centers across the western U.S. The railroad also moved 101,000 hybrid vehicles and experienced a spike in ethanol traffic. And UP expects continued growth in those sectors in 2008.

To accommodate more hybrid vehicle and ethanol traffic, UP has invested more than $1 billion in its infrastructure the past year, including parts of its network serving ethanol-producing states Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. The Class I is bringing on more capacity to move grain to ethanol plants, transport ethanol to fuel terminals and carry dried distillers grains to feed markets.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/26/2008