Thursday, March 23, 2017

Union Pacific plans increase in NW Iowa track speeds; consolidates Pocatello unit management

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Union Pacific will increase the maximum track speed limit from 40 to 49 mph on the rail line paralleling Highway 60 in northwest Iowa next month.

Train speeds at Sibley, Ashton, Sheldon and Hospers crossings will increase in weekly five mph increments beginning the week of March 20 until reaching the 49 mph speed limit on April 1. The track speed limit increase follows a tie and rail improvement project in October 2015.

Union Pacific plans to invest $68 million in Iowa in 2017 to support the state's current and future freight transportation needs, and enhance safety and efficiency.

The company also announced it is consolidating its Pocatello Service Unit management with its Portland and Utah service units effective April 1. Five management positions will be reassigned to other locations as the company continues aligning operations to meet customer demands amid marketplace shifts.

The transportation, engineering, mechanical, maintenance and other operations necessary to continue running a safe and efficient railroad will remain in place. The realignment will result in an operating structure similar to pre-2005 in Idaho.

The Pocatello Depot will remain an operational structure where Union Pacific crews will continue to go on and off duty while carrying out normal operations.