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Union Pacific updates company's expansion, improvement projects

Carbon County motorists should spend less time at crossings waiting for trains to pass as a result of the nearly $11 million in track improvements made by Union Pacific Railroad to the company's line between Helper and Grand Junction, Colo.

When the project is completed, the company indicated that crews will have:

•Removed and installed 75,600 ties.

•Spread 17,000 tons of rock ballast.

•Renewed road surfaces at 20 crossings.

•Installed nearly three miles of new rail in various curves.

Crews replaced the rail in the curves in February 2009 between the Colorado-Utah border and Helper, explained the company.

A second crew started replacing the ties and crossing surfaces from Grand Junction to about eight miles west of the Colorado border at Westwater on April 9. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of May.

Union Pacific invested nearly $43 million for capital projects in Colorado, and $47 million in Utah, during 2008.

During 2009, Union Pacific plans to invest $1.8 billion to strengthen track infrastructure across the company's more than 32,000 mile system, noted the representatives.

The extensive investment in the railroad's track helps ensure Union Pacific has the capability to offer quality, safe and cost-effective service to meet customers' current and future transportation needs, added the representatives.

Improved and expanded rail capacity allows freight rail service to grow, helping to build a cleaner environment, pointed out company representatives. Freight train emissions are two-thirds less than trucks.

Motorists also benefit from reduced congestion on America's highways since a single train can remove about 300 trucks off the country's roadways, concluded Union Pacific representatives.

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