$9 Million Invested in Track Improvements between Eau Claire and Fairchild
Omaha, Neb., Approximately $9 million in track improvements will allow Union Pacific Railroad to increase the speed limit of its trains to 50 mph on nearly 26 miles of its rail line between Eau Claire and Fairchild, Wis.
The increased train speed typically reduces motorist wait time at crossings and improves railroad operating efficiency where Union Pacific has made track improvements.
The train speed limit will be increased 10 miles per hour starting December 11, 2009, and another 10 miles per hour starting December 18, 2009, to reach the new maximum speed limit. Trains currently operate through the area at 30 mph because of track and operating constraints. Recent track improvements are permitting the higher speeds.
Union Pacific invested $9 million this year on track improvements between Eau Claire and Fairchild. Crews replaced the rail, installed seven switches – the track devices that guide a train from one track to another — replaced the road surfaces at 37 crossings, replaced 25,000 ties and spread 15,600 tons of rock ballast to insure a stable roadbed. Work was completed at the end of October.
Omaha, Neb., Union Pacific Railroad opened its Donner Pass route to domestic double-stack intermodal container freight traffic Nov. 19, marking the completion of a 12-month project designed to move customer products over a shorter, faster and more efficient route.
The Donner Tunnel project is a great example of how Union Pacific capital investments continue to support our customers’ ability to grow, drive increased operating efficiencies for our railroad and improve America’s transportation infrastructure said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer. Union Pacific has invested nearly $17 billion in our rail network since 2004 and remains committed to running the railroad as efficiently as possible while providing customers with the highest levels of service
The construction project included:
* More than 18,000 lineal feet of notching to improve tunnel clearances in 15 restricted tunnels between the California cities of Rocklin and Truckee;
* Upgrading 30 miles of system signals to centralized traffic control standards, thus eliminating dark territory and allowing signal technology to control train movement instead of radio communications between dispatchers and locomotive engineers;
* Removing track, lowering the floor and reinstalling track in two tunnels, and
* Installing rock bolts for added stability in five tunnels.
This project will benefit our customers by improving our intermodal transit times compared to the current Feather River Canyon route said John Kaiser, Union Pacific vice president and general manager – Intermodal. Completing this project will help us better serve our customers while supporting economic growth in Northern California and at the Port of Oakland
Union Pacific’s Donner Pass route is as much as 73 miles shorter and up to three hours faster than the Feather River Canyon route, depending upon the destination.
Our Feather River Canyon route will continue to play a strategic role in how we serve our customers Kaiser said. The combined benefits of the Donner Pass improvements and our existing Feather River Canyon route will provide additional flexibility to our network as we strive to improve upon Union Pacific’s record levels of customer satisfaction
In addition to utilizing the Donner Pass route for double-stack container rail traffic, the completed construction project provides Union Pacific the ability to operate up to 9,000-foot trains, a 58 percent increase over the 5,700-foot trains that run through Feather River Canyon.
A single Union Pacific intermodal train takes up to 300 over-the-road trucks off America’s congested highways, reducing highway congestion and repair costs, particularly over the busy I-80 highway system. In addition, rails are at least four times more fuel-efficient than trucks, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Erlangen, Germany, Siemens Energy has been chosen by Tenaska, one of the largest U.S. independent power producers, based in Omaha, Nebraska to provide the coal gasification technology for the Taylorville Energy Center (TEC). With a gross capacity of 730 megawatt (MW) the advanced clean coal generating plant will be one of the first commercial-scale coal gasification plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) capability in the U.S.A. Tenaska is the managing partner of the $3.5 billion facility which will convert Illinois coal into substitute natural gas (SNG). The gas will be used for electricity generation or fed into the interstate natural gas pipeline system. TEC’s integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology will capture and provide storage for at least fifty percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2). The TEC is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
For the TEC, being developed near Taylorville, Illinois, Siemens will provide equipment contracts and licensing agreements for four 500-megawatt-class gasifiers. These gasifiers have a daily processing capacity of as much as 2,000 metric tons of coal or petcoke. In the gasification process, a wide range of coals or other carbon-containing feedstocks, such as biomass or refinery residues, can be converted to syngas and subsequently cleaned to remove environmental pollutants such as sulfur, mercury and carbon dioxide. The syngas can then be utilized for environmentally compatible power generation in IGCC plants or as raw material for the chemical industry through the production of chemical feedstocks or synthetic fuels.
“In the future it will not be possible to meet the continuing growth in power demand without fossil fuels such as coal. The challenge is to significantly reduce the CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels,” said Michael Suess, CEO of the Fossil Power Generation Division of Siemens Energy. “The Taylorville Energy Center project is an important step in this direction and we look forward to demonstrating how Siemens’ technology can provide a sustainable energy supply.” “By capturing and storing at least 50 percent of the CO2 it produces, TEC will have emissions comparable to a natural gas-fueled plant. Achieving such a dramatic reduction in emissions by a coal-fed plant is a vital step in the global effort to combat climate change. Siemens is glad to be a major contributor to this important breakthrough,” Suess added.
Gasfication technology is part of the Siemens environmental portfolio with which the company earned revenues of nearly EUR19 billion in fiscal 2008, That is equivalent to about a quarter of Siemens total revenue and makes Siemens the world’s leading provider of eco-friendly technology.
The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2008 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of approximately EUR22.6 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR33.4 billion and posted a profit of EUR1.4 billion. On September 30, 2008, the Energy Sector had a work force of approximately 83,500. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/energy.