Union Pacific Railroad

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Union Pacific Railroad

legal form Corporation
founding 1862
Seat Omaha , USAUnited StatesUnited States 
Branch Railway company
Website www.up.com

The Union Pacific Railroad ( UP ) is one of the two major railroad companies in the western United States . The owner is the Union Pacific Corporation . CEO and President of the company is Lance M. Fritz. With the exception of the suburban trains in the greater Chicago area , the UP only operates freight traffic today, and long-distance passenger traffic was transferred from UP to Amtrak in 1971 . UP's main competitor is the BNSF Railway , which covers much of the same area.

Route network

Current route network of the Union Pacific Railroad

The Union Pacific network extends from the Pacific coast to Chicago and New Orleans across the entire western United States.

It owns and operates routes in 23 states in the United States: Arizona , Arkansas , California , Colorado , Idaho , Illinois , Iowa , Kansas , Louisiana , Minnesota , Missouri , Montana , Nebraska , Nevada , New Mexico , Oklahoma , Oregon , Tennessee , Texas , Utah , Washington , Wisconsin, and Wyoming .

The UP achieved its current expansion with a route network of 32,122  miles (approx. 51,695 kilometers) and 51,683 miles (approx. 83,176 kilometers) track length as of December 31, 2017 through the takeover of other railway companies. These include the routes of the former railway companies Western Pacific Railroad , Missouri Pacific Railroad , Chicago and North Western Railway , Southern Pacific Railroad and Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad .

Rolling stock

Typical coal train in Wyoming with open bulk goods wagons

As of December 31, 2017, Union Pacific Railroad was using 8,573 own and rented locomotives (exclusively diesel locomotives ) and 64,191 own and self-rented freight wagons . The freight wagon stock was divided as follows:

Sales and traffic performance

year Sales
(in million $)
(in $ million)
(in thousands)
(in millions)
1998 $ 9,329 $ 347 7,998 695.237 53,121
1999 $ 10,175 $ 1,784 8,556 761.220 52,539
2000 $ 10,765 $ 1,965 8,901 780.532 50,523
2001 $ 10,830 $ 2,018 8,916 811.109 48,600
2002 $ 11,159 $ 2,253 9.131 835.250 47,298
2003 $ 11,551 $ 2,133 9,239 857.780 46,371
2004 $ 12,215 $ 1,295 9,458 878.702 48,295
2005 $ 13,578 $ 1,795 9,544 883.530 49,747
2006 $ 15,578 $ 2,884 9,852 909.280 50,739
2007 $ 16,283 $ 3,375 9,733 904.451 50,089
2008 $ 17,970 $ 4,070 9,261 906.060 48,242
2009 $ 14,143 $ 3,379 7,786 770.875 43,531
2010 $ 16,965 $ 4,981 8,815 837.503 42,884
2011 $ 19,557 $ 5,724 9,072 876.122 44,861
2012 $ 20,926 $ 6,745 9,048 838,647 45,928
2013 $ 21,963 $ 7,446 9,022 827.641 46,445
2014 $ 23,988 $ 8,753 9,625 884,542 47,201
2015 $ 21,813 $ 8,052 9,062 780.588 47,457
2016 $ 19,941 $ 7,272 8,442 708.335 42,919
2017 $ 21,240 $ 7,894 8,588 751.115 41,992



Union Pacific train station in Ogden, Utah (2004)

Due to its size, Union Pacific has hundreds of locations, workshops and train stations. Some of the most famous and greatest are:

Railway Police

Like most of the major US railways, the Union Pacific has its own police- like department, the Union Pacific Police Department . Employees designated as Special Agents have police authority for crimes directed against the railroad company or committed on their territory, may prosecute and arrest individuals in any state, and enforce state and federal law outside of Union Pacific's facilities. They primarily pursue major accidents and crimes such as derailments , sabotage , collisions (also with cars and people) and dangerous materials. But also minor offenses such as graffiti , damage to property , unauthorized entry of railway premises, and property crimes such as fraud and theft are among their areas of responsibility.

The UPPD and the term Special Agents served as templates for the establishment of the FBI in 1907.


Completion of the first transcontinental railway line between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Photograph presented to the press of the solemn meeting of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad on May 10, 1869 at the Promontory Summit in Utah.
In 1934, M-10001 “City of Portland” covered the route Los Angeles - New York in less than 57 hours.
The "Big Boys" class 4000 , which was put into service with the Union Pacific from 1941, were among the largest and most powerful steam locomotives in the world.

With the signing of the Pacific Railroad Act on July 1, 1862 by Abraham Lincoln, the Union Pacific Railroad received the concession to build a railway line to California. It received around 12 million acres of land and $ 27 million in government bonds .

The first tracks were laid in Omaha , Nebraska, in 1865 , and the current name was adopted. From then on, around 20,000 workers laid around five miles (8–9 km) of rails per day, and several hundred workers died during the construction work due to the harsh working conditions and fighting with Indians. On May 10, 1869, the UP route construction met the Central Pacific Railroad, which was driven from California, at what is now the Golden Spike National Historic Site on the Great Salt Lake in Utah . This route was later replaced by the Lucin Cut Off with a railway bridge over the Great Salt Lake. She went over to the Utah Central Railroad and the Utah and Northern Railway . The latter had built a branch line from Ogden on the UP Main Line north to the border of what is now Idaho .

By building a railway line from Ogden, the railway company gained its own access to the Pacific in Portland (Oregon) . In 1880 UP took over the Kansas Pacific Railway , which ten years earlier had built a line from Kansas City to Denver , and the Denver Pacific Railroad , a subsidiary that made the connection from Denver to Cheyenne on the UP main line. With this merger, the company was renamed the "Union Pacific Railway". Around this time the UP acquired some narrow-gauge railroads in Colorado and until 1893 even owned a standard-gauge line via New Mexico to Texas .

The leadership of the Union Pacific was embroiled in a scandal in 1872 over bribery and the shifting of construction funds through a front company ( Crédit Mobilier of America ). As a result, the railway company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Jay Gould joined the company and managed to improve the company's profitability through organizational improvements and rationalizations. Since there was no solution to the repayment of the state loans for the railway construction, he ended his engagement.

The economic crisis of 1893 as well as a previously bad economic result, due to a high transport volume with ruinous tariffs at the same time, ensured that the UP had to file for bankruptcy just like a large number of competing railway companies. As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, Edward Henry Harriman took control of the company. The newly formed consortium, which consisted primarily of shareholders in the senior mortgage letters and other borrowers, auctioned the assets remaining in the bankruptcy proceedings on November 1, 1897 at a price of $ 58.1 million. At the same time, the federal government waived further loan claims with regard to the Union Pacific. The company, which was newly founded in Utah in 1897, was again called the "Union Pacific Railroad" and took over the main line between Omaha and Ogden, the Missouri Bridge in Omaha and the lines of the former Kansas Pacific by April 1, 1898.

From 1901 the UP, which was reorganized under its chairman Edward Harriman, controlled the Southern Pacific Railroad, but had to give up this control again by a decision of the Supreme Court in 1913.

In 1906, a special train for Harriman from Oakland, California, to New York City set a 28-year record for the shortest travel time between the west and east coasts of the USA with 71 hours and 27 minutes.

The Union Pacific Railroad began investing in tourism to stimulate passenger traffic and as a publicity measure. With the subsidiary Utah Parks Company , the company began to build hotels in the national parks of Zion , Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon from 1913 . The company held the sole concession for the former parks. In addition, a railway line to the parks was built for better access. With the creation of the winter sports resort Sun Valley from 1936 an attempt was made to establish a tourist destination comparable to the European Alpine resorts.

With the three-part M-10000 "City of Salina" multiple unit put into service in February 1934 , the Union Pacific was the first railway company in North America to introduce a streamlined train with diesel traction. Also in 1934, the yellow vehicle color "armor yellow" with red decorative stripes and lettering , which is still used today for the locomotives and historic passenger cars, was introduced. After an extensive tour of America as "Tomorrow's Train Today", the train took part in the world exhibition in Chicago and was viewed by a million people. In October of the same year, the six-car M-10001 procured for the “ City of Portland ” night train started a 5,244-kilometer transcontinental press trip in Los Angeles and reached Grand Central Terminal in New in a still impressive record time of 56 hours and 55 minutes York city .

The first streamlined train M-10000 from 1934 and a passenger train from 1953 with EMD diesel locomotives of the E and F series .

The record run also made the diesel-electric streamlined trains " City of Los Angeles ", " City of San Francisco " and " City of Denver ", introduced between 1936 and 1938, commercial successes and the Union Pacific into an important pioneer in the introduction of diesel traction in fast transcontinental passenger traffic . Since the UP did not yet have its own routes east of Omaha, the streamlined trains to and from Chicago were initially operated in cooperation with the Chicago and North Western Railway (C&NW), and from October 30, 1955 together with the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (Milwaukee Road) operated.

In addition to diesel technology, which is still under development, the UP also tested innovative types of traction such as steam turbine-electric locomotives and gas turbine locomotives. At the same time, Union Pacific procured the 3900Challenger ” and 4000 “Big Boy” series steam locomotives, which were among the largest and most powerful in the world. UP ended the regular steam operation in 1959, the last "Big Boys" kept as a reserve were retired in 1962. The only exception is the 844 UP class 800 locomotive , which was never retired and has since been kept operational by the UP for special trips.

In 1971 the UP gave long-distance passenger transport to Amtrak . Since then, the Armor Yellow in passenger traffic has only been available on a few cars reserved for charter and special traffic.

GE Dash 8-40C on Cajon Pass (May 10, 1991)

As part of the consolidation of the US rail business, the UP took over the Western Pacific Railroad in 1981 , which had its main route from Ogden to San Francisco / Oakland . That gave you a second access to the Pacific. The takeover of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which is twice as large, brought about a significant expansion of the route network . In 1995, the UP acquired the Chicago and North Western Railway (C&NW), of which it previously held 25 percent of the shares. A year later, the great Southern Pacific Railroad including its daughter St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt) was incorporated into the Omaha Empire . The SP had previously been taken over in 1988 by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad , which took the name of the new company as Southern Pacific Lines.

Aerial photo of the accident site in Macdona, Texas after the train derailment in 2004

The company has recently been accused of inadequate maintenance, employee break times and safety measures, especially after a series of fatal train derailments near San Antonio , of which the worst accident near Macdona, Texas left 3 dead and 43 injured.

In the greater Chicago area, Union Pacific operates suburban trains on behalf of and for the account of the regional transportation authority , which were operated by C&NW until 1995.

Company headquarters

From its foundation to 1898, the company was based in New York City (including 20 Nassau Street) and in Boston ( Ames Building ). After the takeover by EH Harriman, new office space in the Equitable Building (120 Broadway, New York) was used from January 31, 1898 .

Operations were managed from Omaha. From 1869, the former Herndon House Hotel (9th and Farnam Street) served as the administration building. It was later rebuilt for these purposes. From 1911, a newly constructed building on the corner of 15th and Dodge Street (1416 Dodge Street) was in use. This building, which was later expanded, served as the company's headquarters from 1969 (when the Union Pacific Corporation was founded, based in New York) until 2004. Since then the Union Pacific Center at 1400 Douglas Street in Omaha has been the company's headquarters.

Corporate management

President of the Union Pacific Railroad

After the Pacific Railroad Construction Act passed until the founding meeting elected the first board of directors , William Butler Ogden ran the business of the nascent company.

In the course of the company's history, there have been changes in the responsibilities in the individual positions of management. Until bankruptcy in 1893, the president was the top executive. With the takeover of the company by EH Harriman, this position was transferred to the “chairman of the board” and / or the “chairman of the executive committee”. From that point on, the President was primarily responsible for the company's operations.
Another change came with the establishment of the Union Pacific Corporation and the sale of all companies from the non-rail sector by the mid-2000s. Today there is extensive personal identity between the President, the Chief Executive Officer and the “chairman of the board”.

Period Surname annotation
October 30, 1863-24. November 1866 John Adams Dix
March 12, 1868-8. March 1871 Oliver Ames Interim President from November 24, 1866 to March 12, 1868
March 8, 1871–6. March 1872 Thomas Alexander Scott
March 6, 1872-19. June 1873 Horace F. Clark
March 11, 1874-18. June 1884 Sidney Dillon
June 18, 1884 – November 1890 Charles Francis Adams, Jr.
November 1890 – April 1892 Sidney Dillon
April 1892-December 1897 Silas HH Clark from October 1, 1893 as a bankruptcy administrator
January 1898 - January 1904 Horace G. Burt
January 1904–9. September 1909 EH Harriman
October 1909 – October 1911 Robert S. Lovett
October 1911 – July 1916 AL Mohler
July 1916 – November 1918 Edgar E. Calvin
November 1918 – February 1919 Charles Bronson Seger
February 1, 1919-31. December 1919 Robert S. Lovett
January 1, 1920–1. October 1937 Carl R. Gray
October 1, 1937–1. February 1946 William Jeffers
February 1, 1946–1. March 1949 George F. Ashby
March 1, 1949–1. January 1965 Arthur E. Stoddard
January 1, 1965-30. September 1971 Edd H. Bailey
October 1, 1971–3. January 1982 John C. Kenefick
January 3, 1983 – October 1986 Robert G. Flannery
October 1986 – August 1991 Michael H. Walsh
August 1991 – August 1995 Richard K. Davidson President, CEO and Chairman
August 1995 – November 1996 Ronald J. Burns President and CEO
November 1996 - September 1998 Jerry R. Davis
September 1998 – January 2004 Ivor J. Evans
January 2004–2. March 2012 James R. Young 2007–2012: President, CEO and Chairman
March 2, 2012–5. February 2014 John J. Koraleski President and CEO, since February 5, 2012: Chairman
February 5, 2014– Lance M. Fritz since February 5, 2015 also CEO

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Union Pacific Railroad

Sidney Dillon was the first chairman of the board . After he was no longer available as president due to his illness, he was appointed to this "honorary position" at the shareholders' meeting on April 27, 1892. He died shortly afterwards in June of the same year. On April 26, 1893, Alexander E. Orr was appointed Chairman of the board.

Period Surname annotation
March 30, 1898 - December 1898 Winslow S. Pierce Chairman of the board
July 15, 1898-9. September 1909 Edward H. Harriman Chairman of the executive committee
September 1909 – November 1918 Robert S. Lovett Chairman of the executive committee
November 1918 – February 1919 Charles Bronson Seger Chairman of the executive committee
February 1919 – January 1924 Robert S. Lovett Chairman of the executive committee
January – August 1924 Charles Peabody Chairman of the finance committee
August 1924-11. August 1932 Charles Bronson Seger Chairman of the finance / executive committee
March 1, 1924-19. June 1932 Robert S. Lovett Chairman of the board
August 11, 1932-5. May 1953 Fannin W. Charske Chairman of the executive committee
July 25, 1932-1946 W. Averell Harriman Chairman of the board
1946-1968 E. Roland Harriman Chairman of the board
1953-1966 Robert A. Lovett Chairman of the executive committee
1967-1969 Frank E. Barnett Chairman of the executive committee, from 1969: additionally chairman of the board
September 1, 1970–1. April 1986 John C. Kenefick CEO, from January 3, 1982: Chairman; 1971–1982: President
April 1, 1986-1. November 1986 Andrew L. Lewis CEO
November 1, 1986-1. August 1991 Michael H. Walsh CEO, Chairman
August 1, 1991–1. February 2007 Richard K. Davidson President, CEO and Chairman until August 1995, August 1995 to November 1996: Chairman; November 1996 to February 2007: Chairman and CEO
August 1995 – November 1996 Ronald J. Burns CEO
February 1, 2007–2. March 2012 James R. Young Chairman and CEO, 2004–2012: also President
March 2, 2012–1. October 2015 John J. Koraleski CEO and Chairman, since February 5, 2012: Chairman, until February 5, 2014: President, until February 5, 2015: CEO
5th February 2015- Lance M. Fritz Chairman (from October 1, 2015), CEO and President

Source: Official register of directors and officers of the Union Pacific railroad company and the Union Pacific railway company , 1863–1889


Web links

Commons : Union Pacific Railroad  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f 2017 Investor Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, May 9, 2018; accessed February 18, 2019 .
  2. Factbook 2014
  3. a b 1999 Analyst Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, September 27, 2000, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  4. 2000 Analyst Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, April 26, 2001, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  5. a b 2002 Analyst Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, April 22, 2002, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  6. a b 2004 Analyst Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, May 23, 2004, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  7. a b c 2007 Analyst Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, May 1, 2008, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  8. a b c 2010 Analyst Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, April 21, 2011, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  9. a b c 2013 Investor Fact Book. Union Pacific Corporation, April 28, 2014, accessed February 18, 2019 .
  10. ^ A b c Howard Zinn: A People's History of the United States . Harper Perennial, New York 2005, ISBN 0-06-083865-5 , p. 255
  11. Aristatek: Chlorine Rail Car Incident (June 2004) ( Memento of 15 October 2013 Internet Archive ). Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  12. ^ NTSB - Remarks by Robert L. Sumwalt . National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  13. ^ Official register of directors and officers of the Union Pacific railroad company and the Union Pacific railway company , 1863–1889 , Poor's Manuals, Annual Reports