USA: Union Pacific announced on February 1 that its board had approved a capital investment budget of $3·1bn for 2008. Of this, no less than $1·6bn will go on maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure, plus a further $840m to increase network and terminal capacity. UP plans to invest $490m on rolling stock during the year, including 175 additional high-horsepower diesel locomotives and a new fleet of covered hopper wagons. A budget of $170m has been set for IT projects including further development and testing of Positive Train Control.
A week earlier, UP issued its fourth-quarter results for 2007, with a net income of $491m up from $485m for the same quarter in 2006. Chairman & CEO Jim Young said this represented 'revenue growth on flat volume and improved operational efficiency'. UP's total operating revenue in 2007 reached $16·3bn, 5% ahead of 2006, but the railway reported a 17% increase in operating income to $3·4bn giving a net income of $1·86bn and a return on capital of 8·7%.
BNSF, UP's main competitor in the western US markets, announced on January 29 a $2·49bn capital investment programme for 2008, including more than $200m for capacity enhancement and $400m to lease a further 200 locomotives.