Union Pacific to invest $70m to develop Idaho and Colorado rail infrastructure


US-based railroad operator Union Pacific has revealed plans to invest around $70m in the railway infrastructure of Idaho and Colorado to enhance safety and efficiency of operations.

The company is set to invest $36m in Colorado and $34.1m in Idaho before the end of the year.

Union Pacific will fund multiple initiatives in Colorado under the initiative, including an investment of $33m to maintain railroad tracks and $1m for bridge maintenance.

The company will provide $6m for the development of the rail line between Denver and Rollinsville, which involves the replacement of 34,148 railroad ties and the installation of 24,338t of rock ballast.

It will also invest $4.5m in the rail line that runs between Bond and Phippsburg to replace 31,662 railroad ties and install 24,165t of rock ballast.

Around $30.2m will be invested in Idaho in order to maintain railroad tracks and $2.1m for railway bridge maintenance.

"Union Pacific's targeted investments fund projects that strengthen our railroad tracks, increase safety and minimise delays as trains travel through communities across Idaho."

The company will provide $13.3m to replace 29 miles of rail along the Athol and Eastport route. It will also invest $1.8m to replace 8,265 railroad ties on the same rail line during a tie replacement project.

Union Pacific will provide $9.9m for the network between Athol and Naples to clean and replace the rock ballast under the rail line.

Commenting on the investment at Idaho, Union Pacific Western Region Public Affairs vice-president Wes Lujan said: “Union Pacific's targeted investments fund projects that strengthen our railroad tracks, increase safety and minimise delays as trains travel through communities across Idaho.

“Maintaining a healthy railroad is the foundation of our ability to serve customers and communities across the state.”

Union Pacific previously invested more than $253m in Colorado and $206m in Idaho between 2012 and 2016 in an effort to improve the states’ transportation infrastructure.