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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP part of FRA's award-winning pilot project; UP workers played role in multi-level car design


Union Pacific Railroad's San Antonio Service Unit played a key role in the Federal Railroad Administration's (FRA) “Changing At-Risk Behavior (CAB)” pilot project, which will be honored tomorrow by the American Evaluation Association (AEA), UP officials said in a prepared statement.

CAB is a safety intervention pilot project designed to incorporate peer-to-peer observation and feedback, safety leadership development and continuous process improvement. The CAB evaluation team from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and FRA will receive the AEA’s Outstanding Evaluation Award for the new initiative, which resulted in safety improvements at UP and “influenced a broader safety culture shift in the railroad industry,” UP officials said. The award recognizes a single evaluation project the AEA deems an example of high-quality evaluation.

UP debuted new safety initiatives across its San Antonio Service Unit, which spans 800 miles and includes more than 1,000 locomotive engineers and conductors. CAB evaluation results showed an 85 percent reduction in at-risk behaviors, 72 percent drop in locomotive engineer decertification rates and 69 percent plunge in the rate of human factor-caused derailments, UP officials said. Similar projects have since been initiated by freight and passenger railroads across North America, they added.

“Collaboration among our own employees — that is, local management, union leadership and our craft employees — the FRA and the U.S. Department of Transportation was critical to the project's success,” said UP Executive Vice President of Operations Lance Fritz.

Meanwhile, UP plans to commemorate the first convertible automotive rail car designed and built by employees during a ceremony to be held tomorrow at a rail-car shop in DeSoto, Mo. Workers designed and built the 90-foot long convertible multi-level car, which can easily be transformed from two to three decks for transporting vehicles based on a customer’s need, UP officials said in an event announcement.

UP operates or accesses 43 automotive distribution centers, serves five vehicle assembly plants, and connects to West Coast ports and the Port of Houston to accommodate import and export shipments. The Class I also provides expedited handling services for automotive parts in both box cars and containers destined for Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/3/2011