Union Pacific recently hosted an economic development summit at its headquarters in Omaha, NE. I was fortunate to have been invited to participate and enjoyed learning more about the railroad, its operations, and the various business units within the company.
There were a few stats and other interesting things I learned that I wanted to share with you:
- UP has over 40,000 employees nationally, with over 30,000 in the field
- It’s a 24-7 operation
- UP boasts an annual payroll of $4 billion
- UP generates $20 billion in annual revenue between its 4 business units
- UP’s 2018 Capital Plan is a whopping $3.3 Billion, 60% of which is comprised of infrastructure replacement
The “premium” business unit is growing, which represents a shift in our economy towards online spending. Much of the premium business unit’s revenue comes from intermodal transportation and is driven by consumer spend.
I was blown away by the Harriman Dispatch Center (HDC) in downtown Omaha. The Harriman Dispatch Center is the “central nervous system” of the railroad. From the HDC, UP manages the trains and crews across the railroad’s entire network. As you can imagine, it’s a very complicated operation that relies on extremely well-trained individuals to ensure the safety of several thousand trains that move about on UP’s 32,000 mile network daily.
Similarly to EDCUtah, our local communities, and GOED, UP has realized that site readiness is an advantage in site selection. UP is strengthening its economic development internal organization and has launched a “Rail Within Reach” program and a Site Certification Program (read more here). If you’re a local community that would like to learn more about Rail Within Reach, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get you in touch with the right folks at the railroad. These programs are complimentary to Utah’s Mega Site Program and may be a fantastic option for rail-served sites that don’t quite hit the Mega Site 400 acre requirement.
As digital as our economy is becoming, the foundation of our economy still relies on the efficient movement of goods, people, and ideas. UP relies on a sophisticated digital network to manage that movement. I enjoyed seeing the inner workings of this historic company that is so relevant today and that has helped build Utah and America.