Union Pacific Railroad has begun construction on its Brazos Yard in Robertson County, Texas. The $550 million rail yard represents the largest capital investment in a single facility in the company's 155-year history. Brazos Yard will have the capacity to switch up to 1,300 rail cars per day, making it one of the highest capacity yards on Union Pacific's 23-state network. As the first yard of its kind to be built in more than a generation, it will showcase best practices in operating efficiency, technology and innovation.
The project is expected to create between 500 and 550 construction-related jobs, drawing on workers from the immediate area and from across Texas. A study completed by Texas A&M University's Engineering Extension Service predicted the completed yard will contribute almost $260 million in annual total output for the state of Texas. Completion is estimated in 2020.
"Brazos Yard will play an important role in helping Union Pacific's men and women provide excellent service to our customers that represent a wide variety of economic drivers," said Lance Fritz, Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO. "It also will improve efficiency and fluidity across our entire rail network."
"This project has been an important part of Union Pacific's planning for several years as we've monitored customer demand and economic growth across the region," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific's assistant vice-president Public Affairs. "Based on current demand and building for future freight transportation needs, Union Pacific is making our largest capital investment in the Texas Brazos Valley."
Brazos Yard will function as a classification yard where rail cars are separated and sorted by destination before being assembled into new trains headed across the country. The site sits at the convergence of seven Union Pacific rail lines, making it a strategic point for freight rail traffic travelling north, south, east, and west. Brazos Yard will support Union Pacific's customers that represent a wide variety of economic drivers across Texas, including cross border traffic, petrochemicals, consumer goods and plastics.
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Progressive Railroading magazine reports that Union Pacific Corp. reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted net income rose 5 percent to $1.2 billion, or $1.53 per diluted share, compared with $1.14 billion, or $1.39 per share, for the same period a year ago.
Including the impact of the recently passed federal corporate tax reform, UP posted net income of $7.3 billion, or $9.25 per diluted share for Q4 2017, according to a UP press release.
UP's operating revenue in the quarter increased 5 percent to $5.5 billion compared with Q4 2016. Fourth-quarter business volumes — as measured by total revenue carloads — climbed 1 percent compared with a year ago results. Volume increases in industry products more than offset declines in agricultural products, automotive and coal.