President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1,
1862, establishing the original Union Pacific. Lincoln had the
vision of a transcontinental railroad, and 150 years later Union
Pacific provides the nation with environmentally responsible, safe
and efficient freight transportation.
"It is an honor to be
recognized by the state of Illinois as we commemorate our railroad's
sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," said Bob
Turner, senior vice president for corporate relations for Union
Pacific Corp. "We are committed to meeting the challenge given to
Union Pacific 150 years ago by Abraham Lincoln himself, to connect
and support the United States' transportation needs."
Union Pacific's Illinois heritage
Union Pacific's history in Illinois traces back to the Galena &
Chicago Union Railroad, chartered in 1836, and Chicago & North
Western, which began in 1848. The two merged in 1864 and covered
much of the state. Union Pacific acquired C&NW in 1995.
Chicago & Eastern Illinois, founded in 1877, operated another
Chicago-St. Louis link via Villa Grove. C&EI was acquired by
Missouri Pacific in 1967, and Union Pacific merged with MP in 1982.
The final leg of UP's Illinois network started as Alton and
Sangamon Railroad in 1847. Through a series of acquisitions and
reorganizations, it became a part of Southern Pacific, which Union
Pacific acquired in 1996.
Union Pacific today in Illinois
The world's largest rail center calls Chicago home, making
Illinois a key state for Union Pacific. Mainline tracks from St.
Louis cross the southern portion of the state to reach Chicago, and
the east-west transcontinental mainline across Illinois terminates
at Proviso Yard in the Chicago suburb of Northlake. Proviso is also
home to Global II, the largest of UP's four major intermodal
terminals in the state, handling nearly 300,000 container lifts
annually. Global I is in downtown Chicago. Global III is in
Rochelle. In 2010, UP completed the $370 million state-of-the-art
Joliet Intermodal Terminal. The facility increased the railroad's
international and domestic container capacity, while improving rail
efficiencies throughout the Chicago region.
[to top of second column]
Major commodities transported by the rail in Illinois include
corn, soybeans, automobile parts, finished automobiles and general
merchandise. Particularly important to the railroad is the coal
mining industry in southern Illinois.
Union Pacific serves more commuters and operates more trains on
its three major routes for Metra than any other carrier. Every day,
200 trains carry 120,000 riders. Recently, UP invested nearly $132
million in the West Line Improvement Project, a program aimed at
improving fuel efficiency, reducing passenger and train delays, and
adding enhanced train warning systems. Union Pacific also partners
with CREATE, a program focusing on increasing velocity and
reliability for customers, while reducing congestion and enhancing
Union Pacific operates over 2,200 miles of track in Illinois. In
2011, the railroad employed 4,035 people in Illinois with an annual
payroll of $327.3 million and also purchased $1.8 billion in goods
and services. In the last two years, the railroad's capital
investment in Illinois exceeded $350 million.
news release received from Union