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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP Twin Cities unit posts safety improvements; Class I ranks No. 2 on 'Best for Vets' list


Union Pacific Railroad's Twin Cities Service Unit reported 21 percent fewer railroad crossing incidents in 2015 versus 2014, the Class I announced last week.

The change in incidents reflects progress in educating the driving public about rail safety, UP officials said in a press release.

In addition, the service unit's reportable employee injury rate improved 75 percent to 0.43 in 2015 from 1.69 in 2014.

Many Twin Cities Service Unit employees took the "Courage to Care" personal pledge, which represents personal accountability and strengthens the degree to which each and every employee prioritizes safety as an issue, UP officials said.

"Investing the time to think about why they come to work each day led employees to focus on their friends and families — the people they want to return home safely to at the end of their work day – and motivated them to work even more safely," said Erik Erickson, UP's Twin Cities unit superintendent.

The unit also committed to educating the public about railroad safety by doing community outreach via Operation Lifesaver.

Meanwhile, UP ranked second on Military Times'  "Best for Vets List," a ranking of best employers for military veterans. The Class I's ranking increased from 11th place the previous year. UP was among 75 companies selected for the ranking, and the only transportation industry business in the top five, according to a UP press release.

The rankings are based on recruiting, mentoring, on-the-job training and spouse employment offered to veterans.

More than 20 percent of UP employees have military experience, and some remain active in the National Guard or Reserves.

"Military veterans are a great fit for Union Pacific because of their focus on safety, proven leadership skills and experience working in challenging environments," said Sherrye Hutcherson, UP's vice president-human resources. "Our blueprint for talent management is focused on recruiting, developing and engaging top talent, and veterans are a cornerstone of that strategy."

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