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Doublestacks on Donner Pass

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Following completion of a 12-month clearance project “designed to move customer products over a shorter, faster, and more efficient route,” Union Pacific’s Donner Pass route is open to doublestack intermodal traffic. Donner Pass is up to 73 miles shorter and up to three hours faster than the Feather River Canyon route, depending upon the destination. In addition, UP can now operate trains up to 9,000 feet in length, a 58% increase over the 5,700-foot trains that run through Feather River Canyon.

union-pacific-logo-officia.jpg The construction project included:
• More than 18,000 lineal feet of notching to improve tunnel clearances in 15 restricted tunnels between the California cities of Rocklin and Truckee.
• Upgrading 30 miles of signals to CTC, eliminating dark territory and allowing signal technology to control train movement instead of radio communications between dispatchers and locomotive engineers.
• Removing track, lowering the floor, and reinstalling track in two tunnels.
• Installing rock bolts for added stability in five tunnels.

“The Donner Pass project is a great example of how Union Pacific capital investments continue to support our customers’ ability to grow, drive increased operating efficiencies for our railroad, and improve America’s transportation infrastructure,” said UP Chairman and CEO Jim Young, “We have invested nearly $17 billion in our rail network since 2004 and remain committed to running the railroad as efficiently as possible while providing customers with the highest levels of service.”