In 2006, Union Pacific supported more than 200 industrial development projects designed to help rail-served customers start or expand their business. These facilities involved investments of $2.6 billion by Union Pacific customers and are expected to create more than 8,500 jobs.
“Industrial development activities along Union Pacific Railroad were very robust last year,” said Steven J McLaws, general director-industrial development. “We worked very closely with state and local economic development authorities on projects involving new site location and development of infrastructure to provide customers access to our rail system.”
For example, Union Pacific assisted Railex, a produce distribution company, in 2006 with the location of a new refrigerated produce distribution facility in Wallula WA. From this new state-of-the-art distribution facility apples, pears, onions, potatoes, and other perishable items originating in eastern Washington are being transported efficiently to the East Coast.
The location of the new perishable product distribution facility provides shippers from several communities within Washington the advantage of the economies of rail with service equal to that of trucking, saving an estimated $4.5 million annually in transportation diesel fuel costs alone.
The 210 facilities supported by Union Pacific in 2006 included food and produce distribution centers in Washington, Arkansas, Idaho, Utah, and Oklahoma; new ethanol facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, and Colorado; and a rail car manufacturing facility in Louisiana. Other industries that located along Union Pacific rail lines include facilities for food products, chemicals, building products, fertilizers, plastics, and aggregates.