Friday, February 10, 2012

UP CEO honors Lincoln's vision

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

When Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific, his vision for the transcontinental railroad was to connect a nation from east to west. Lincoln did not live to see the completion of the transcontinental railroad, but his vision was fulfilled and, along the way, more than 7,000 cities and towns began as Union Pacific depots and water stops, according to UP Chairman and CEO Jim Young.

"Abraham Lincoln's expectations were high," said Young. "What he thought would be a means to settle the West and build commerce has become the infrastructure that moves the American economy and virtually everything that touches us in our daily lives. Not even Lincoln could have envisioned the railroad we have today, but he would be proud."

Union Pacific celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, aiming to carry on Lincoln's vision by connecting America to the global economy, the company says. As a global corporation, nearly 40% of the Class I's freight originates or terminates outside of the U.S.

UP plans to invest a record $3.6 billion in 2012, adding to the more than $31 billion it spent from 2000 to 2011. It also anticipates hiring 4,000 to 4,500 employees in 2012, depending on the economy.

"We are investing in America's transportation infrastructure so taxpayers don't have to," Young said. "Looking to the future, our railroad will continue helping this country improve its competitive position globally by investing billions in capital, creating well-paying jobs and providing safe, environmentally responsible transportation."