Wednesday, February 15, 2012

UP to invest $200 million in South Louisiana

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Union Pacific will invest $200 million in three projects across South Louisiana to expand operations, creating 225 new direct jobs, retaining 1,100 employees and creating 1,500 construction jobs.

The expansion projects include a new support yard in St. James Parish; an additional 29 miles of track from Livonia to Addis, providing dual lines for greater capacity; and the addition of more staging slots in Livonia.

The support yard in St. James Parish will enable growth for existing and anticipated customers in St. James and the Donaldsonville area. It will reduce train delays and increase fluidity, as well as enhancing performance. The track from Livonia to Addis will run alongside the existing Union Pacific line, adding capacity and reducing delays. The staging slots in Livonia will give railroad workers space to build and hold trains without interfering with regular traffic.

"These investments reflect our commitment to build freight capacity that meets our customers' needs while also promoting jobs and business growth in Louisiana," said James Young, the Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO. "Our roots run deep in Louisiana and as we celebrate Union Pacific's 150th anniversary, we remain focused on supporting the businesses and people that depend on us for delivering America's goods."

The Union Pacific expansion comes on top of the work the company does every year to maintain its more than 1,100 miles of track in Louisiana. Last year, the company spent $56 million on capital improvements related to those maintenance efforts in the state, and Union Pacific spent another $24 million on in-state purchases during 2011. In the next several years, Union Pacific estimates it will spend an additional $300 million on growth and maintenance projects in Louisiana beyond the $200 million in 2012 growth projects.

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