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UP mounts 6th annual coal-route maintenance blitz

The blitz is on for Union Pacific Railroad. The Class I June 12 began a $20.1 million maintenance blitz centered at South Morrill, Neb., and running north to Shawnee Junction, Wyo., east to North Platte, Neb., and west to Cheyenne, Wyo.
UP plans to shutdown train operations over the corridor during the work period, which involves 400 UP employees working from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. to condense two months’ worth of maintenance projects into nine days. The railroad plans to operate some trains at night over an alternate route during the project.
The blitz, planned to conclude June 20, involves replacing and installing 56,000 concrete ties and seven concrete-tied switches; installing 20 miles of 133-pound rail; smoothing and leveling more than 175 miles of track; welding 850 track joints; undercutting six track miles; and replacing one bridge and one cattle culvert.
UP worked with electric utilities and coal mines in Wyoming’s Southern Powder River Basin (SPRB) to help ensure a smooth transition of coal trains before and after the project — the railroad’s 6th annual coal-route blitz.
UP in July also plans to spend $10 million maintaining a line between O’Fallons and Oshkosh, Neb., that leads into SPRB. The project, to be completed in mid-August, would involve replacing and installing 65,000 concrete ties; installing 26 miles of 133-pound rail; and replacing one bridge.

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More News from 6/12/2001