ON MARCH 30 Union Pacific announced that it expected to spend over US$2bn on capital investment during 2005.

More than $1·3bn will be spent on infrastructure maintenance and upgrading, with 1700 km of rail to be replaced and another 12500 km resurfaced. UP expects to install 4·4 million new sleepers and lay 6·8 million tonnes of new ballast.

Another $295m will be spent on capacity expansion on the former SP Sunset Route in Arizona, on the UP transcontinental main line around North Platte, Nebraska, and the the addition of eight new passing sidings at various critical locations across the 53 000 route-km network.

UP expects to acquire 315 new diesel locomotives and over 4000 wagons in 2005 through short or long-term leases.

  • UP began a five-year trial with a leased RailPower Green Goat shunter at Fresno, California, on April 1. The aim is to determine if the hybrid electro-diesel technology can offer significant reductions in air pollution at an economical price.