Union Pacific Railroad is in the midst of a $39.5-million track renewal project in Nebraska. The work, which began May 6, is being performed between Clarks and Schuyler and is scheduled to be completed by mid-July.
The railroad will replace 115,000 concrete railroad ties and renew the surfaces at 15 road crossings. Crews will also install 15 switches and nearly 44 miles of new rail. The project is one of nearly 1,500 that Union Pacific will complete across its 32,000-mile network this year to help improve train operating efficiency, reduce motorist wait times at crossings and enhance safety.
Union Pacific is using a modern track renewal train, the TRT 909, which can install rail and concrete ties in one pass. The TRT can install up to 6,000 ties in a 12-hour day. The track renewal train consists of approximately 30 rail cars, with each car capable of carrying 210 concrete ties. Three sets of gantry cranes move the concrete ties forward for the TRT to drop into place. If rail also is being renewed, the machine then threads the new rail onto the ties. The old wooden ties are picked up and discarded rail is threaded out as the machine works its way down the track. A conveyor positions the removed ties for the gantry cranes to load them onto rail cars for movement to a facility for sorting.
“Union Pacific helps businesses connect with consumers, suppliers and markets across the nation and around the world,” said Donna Kush, Union Pacific vice president – Public Affairs, Northern Region. “In addition to helping move our customers’ goods safely and efficiently, our investments support communities by reducing traffic congestion, facilitating industrial development and promoting economic expansion.”
Last week, the railroad’s board of directors approved a $150 million increase in its overall capital budget for the year.