Union Pacific has invested more than $11m to improve its line from Grand Junction, Colorado to Helper, Utah, to enable trains to operate more efficiently.

The project involves laying new road surfaces at 20 crossings as well as the construction of three miles of new rail in various curves. The project is expected to finish by the end of May 2009.

In all, Union Pacific plans to invest $1.8bn in 2009 to improve tracks across its more than 32,000-mile network and improve freight rail services.

When complete, crews will have removed and installed 75,600 ties and spread 17,000t of rock ballast to ensure a stable roadbed.

By staff writer.