OMAHA, Neb., July 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- What President Abraham Lincoln started 150 years ago, Union Pacific carries on in the 21st century.
Founded July 1, 1862, when Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, Union Pacific today celebrates 150 years of building America. Starting by helping construct the first transcontinental railroad, surviving the country's multiple economic crises, supporting America's military men and women through conflicts and forging forward to overcome hurricanes, floods and droughts, Union Pacific remains a trusted mainstay on America's landscape and is one of just a handful of companies to achieve the 150-year milestone.
"We believe President Lincoln would be as proud of today's Union Pacific as we are," said Jack Koraleski, president and CEO. "We invest billions of dollars in our country's rail infrastructure so taxpayers don't have to, provide well-paying American jobs, and play a key role in the nearly 7,300 communities of which we are a part."
The transcontinental railroad opened the west to commerce and development, and Union Pacific continues building its rail network to support U.S. businesses and the country's economy. The railroad invested more than $31 billion in the last 10 years and plans a record $3.6 billion capital spend in 2012.
"Union Pacific delivers the goods American businesses and families use daily – everything from cars and clothes to sugar and lumber – and we help U.S. industries and companies compete in the global market by providing safe, reliable and environmentally responsible freight transportation," Koraleski said. "We expanded President Lincoln's vision from using the railroad to link the east and the west to using the railroad to connect the U.S. to the world. Nearly 40 percent of our business is international in either origin or destination and we are the only North American railroad with access to all six major Mexico rail gateways."
Some of Union Pacific's ongoing transportation infrastructure projects include:
- Adding a second line of track along the Sunset Corridor, which runs from Los Angeles to El Paso, increasing the number of trains Union Pacific can operate along that important route that takes goods to and from Southern California and the Southeast.
- A $400 million intermodal and fueling facility in Santa Teresa, N.M. - located on the Sunset Corridor - that will support increased rail traffic and even help increase freight capacity at some west coast ports.
- Approximately $500 million in capacity improvements and maintenance projects over the next several years in Louisiana to help America's agriculture, chemical and crude oil businesses grow.
- Investing nearly $300 million over the next several years on its Central Corridor through Blair, Neb., reducing by 25 miles the distance trains will need to travel around Omaha. Once completed, the Blair improvements will save two to four hours of travel time per train.
- Purchasing approximately 200 new locomotives this year - at cost of about $2 million or so each -- equipped with the latest technology to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
NYSE Closing Bell
Koraleski will be joined by 11 other Union Pacific employees to ring the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) closing bell July 2. The event is as much a celebration of Union Pacific's future as its past.
"Union Pacific has never been stronger or better positioned to serve our 10,000 customers," Koraleski said. "Our employees truly are committed to our mission to serve and I am proud to have these 11 join me to represent all of our 45,000 employees at the closing bell."
Employees from around company were nominated to participate in the closing bell ceremony based on a variety of criteria including demonstrated commitment to safety and teamwork, dedication to customer service and community involvement.
Closing bell participants include:
- Michael Beatie, based in Omaha. Beatie is senior manager - business intelligence in the Finance department and has worked seven years at Union Pacific.
- Kimberly Fossland, based in Omaha. Fossland is corridor manager at the company's Harriman Dispatching Center and has worked 10 years at the company.
- Snigdha Ganta, based in Omaha. Ganta is senior manager - Information Technology and has worked nine years at Union Pacific.
- Ruben Gutierrez, based in Laredo, Texas. Gutierrez is an International Customer Service Center clerk in Marketing and Sales and has worked 37 years at Union Pacific.
- George Hix, based in Fort Collins, Col. Hix is business director - Industrial Products marketing and sales and has worked 38 years at the railroad.
- Chuck Janousek, based in Omaha. Janousek is manager - contracts in the Law department and has worked 47 years at Union Pacific.
- Ken Kuwamura, based in San Antonio, Texas. Kuwamura is a senior recruiting manager and has worked six years at the railroad.
- Rick Pica, based in De Soto, Mo. Pica is manager - Supply operations and has worked 36 years at Union Pacific.
- Alvah Stahlnecker, based in Omaha. Stahlnecker is manager of maintenance of way equipment operations in the company's Northern region and has worked 40 years at the railroad.
- Dwight Vinson, based in North Little Rock, Ark. Vinson is a switchman/brakeman and has worked 35 years at Union Pacific.,
- Ken Willard, based in Palestine, Texas. Willard is a car foreman in the Mechanical department and has worked 33 years at the company.
The NYSE closing bell ceremony will be conducted at 4 p.m. ET.
About Union Pacific
It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE : UNP ), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.
SOURCE Union Pacific