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RAIL EMPLOYMENT

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4/8/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP to improve Kansas line; BNSF to upgrade track in Wisconsin, Minnesota


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By early September, Union Pacific Railroad expects to complete upgrades to a Linwood-to-Topeka, Kan., line.

The $18 million project calls for installing more than 30 miles of rail, removing and installing 17,700 ties, spreading 15,400 tons of ballast and renewing road surfaces at 85 grade crossings. Crews will replace rail between April 4 and May 8; a second crew will replace ties between August 29 and early September.

In 2007 and 2008, UP invested about $95 million on capital projects in Kansas. This year, the Class I plans to spend $1.8 billion to improve track infrastructure systemwide.

Meanwhile, BNSF Railway Co. last week began upgrading a line between East Winona, Wis., and St. Croix Tower, Minn. A 43-person crew is replacing 90,000 ties at a rate of more than 1,300 per day. The $10.5 million project is scheduled to conclude in July.

BNSF plans to spend about $2 billion this year to improve infrastructure by refreshing track, signal systems and structures, and upgrading freight cars and technologies.


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