Lincoln County (LincUP) Community Advisory Panel

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LincUP provides open dialogue on health, safety and environmental issues between representatives of the community and Union Pacific Railroad to promote awareness and understanding for mutual benefit. For a complete listing of members, see 2016 LincUP Panelists.

Questions? Comments?

Contact the LincUP Facilitator, Lorre McKeone.

Meeting Notes: January 25, 2016

Present: Daniel Blank, Kaleen Dunbar, Jeff Everett, Jim Falcon, Cindy Halligan, Ron Hanson, Rich Hoaglund, Pete Johnson, Kim Keeling, Shelly Kelly, Adam Kester, Dwight Livingston, Doug Martin, Brent Montgomery, Brandon Myers, Kirsten Parker, Lance Polk, June Robinson, Scott Selken, Gary Smith, Kathy Swain, Jerry Wilson, Glynn Wolar. Facilitator: Lorre McKeone. Guests: Sydnee Hansen, Kathleen Duff.

Absent:  Sally Brecks, Angela Brown, Scott Castillo, Neil Deertz, John Jones, Todd McKeeman, Jack Nichols, Gordon Peeks, Brittany Raymond, Dennis Thompson, David Welch.

Meeting Notes:

Public Comment Period: No comments
Announcements/Introductions: The facilitator welcomed guests Sydnee Hansen (Golden Spike) and Kathleen Duff (Senior Manager, Terminal Operations). Panel members introduced themselves and shared their reason for serving on LincUP. New members were welcomed: Dr. Ron Hanson (NPPSD Superintendent), Dr. Pete Johnson (NPCC Faculty), Adam Kester (NE Game & Parks), Brent Montgomery (Valley Christian Church).
Community Round Table: No announcements

 Year End Report – North Platte Service Unit:

Jeff Everett (Director of Transportation Services) provided a year-end report for Union Pacific Railroad in three key areas: Safety, Service and Value.

Safety: 2015 turned out to be the best year ever as a company in terms of employee safety with reductions in incidents, including both reportable incidents and those resulting in lost work time. This is particularly noteworthy in an industry like the railroad where there are pervasive opportunities for slips, trips and falls as well as the fact that this 24/7 business often operated in challenging weather conditions. System-wide, the number of crossing accidents is down and set a “best ever” record for accidents in the North Platte Service Unit.

Service: The railroad’s only business is service as measured by how long it takes from the time the service order comes in until the shipment is received. In 2015 Union Pacific posted a 98% customer satisfaction rating. Low fuel prices have negatively impacted fracking and the coal industry which in turn has hurt train volume. Even with heavy storms in the northeast part of the country, coal demand remains sluggish. On a positive note, with fewer trains operating, there has been an increase in train speed -- as measured by how long it takes a train to go from origin to final destination including all stops for mechanical work, servicing, fueling and crew changes. In fact, train speed in the North Platte Service Unit set a best ever record. To offset lower volumes, UP has scaled back the number of employees to match current business levels through furloughs.

Value: In 2015, Union Pacific posted a best ever operating ratio of 63.1% which represents the total operating costs to generate every dollar of revenue. In terms of commodity sectors, automotive is the only one showing an increase over last year. The other sectors are down from 2014. There has been a significant turnover in the management team at Bailey Yard bringing in lots of new talent with fresh ideas and aggressive plans for continued improvement in coming years.

Kim Keeling (Manager, Hazardous Materials) briefly shared the ongoing efforts through tank car blitz inspections to reduce accidental chemical releases. These efforts have effectively reduced these releases from 27% to just 7% today.

Meeting Topic: CAPs and Responsible Care – Lorre McKeone, LincUP Facilitator 

Lorre McKeone shared background information about LincUP --formed in 1999 as a part of the Responsible Care initiative of the Chemical Manufacturers Assn (of which UPRR is a partner member). LincUP is one of two community advisory panels on the Union Pacific system. The other CAP is in San Antonio. The LincUP mission is to promote open dialogue on health, safety and environmental issues between representatives of the community and Union Pacific to promote awareness and understanding for mutual benefit. 

Brainstorming ideas for 2016 Meeting topics

The panel suggested the following possible meeting topics for 2016:

  • Recycling
  • Airport tour and explanation of airport emergency services
  • Security measures (community and railroad) – Homeland Security
  • Meth and prescription drug abuse in Lincoln Co. (Judge Turnbull)
  • Public safety – railroad easements with private property owners
  • Disaster preparedness (Brandon Myers)
  • Railroad 101 – Basics of railroad operations
  • Hazardous materials response – mapping gaseous chemical releases
  • Operation Lifesaver
  • Tour of Bailey Yard and Diesel Shop
  • NPPSD education plan for an educated workforce
  • UPRR employee morale
  • Economic development plans from the new DEVCO and Chamber of Commerce director
  • Poverty in Lincoln County – Backpack program and other initiatives
  • Legalization of marijuana
  • Advances in railroad technology – fuel savings, accident prevention and others
  • Tour of updated 911 Center

Recognition of panel members completing 3 years of service

Five members were recognized and thanked for their service on the LincUP panel for the past three years. Recognition plaques were presented by Jeff Everett and Kim Keeling. Those receiving awards are: Gary Smith (representing Religious interests), Cindy Halligan (representing Transportation), Jim Falcon (representing Villages), Shelly Kelly (representing Environment), and Dr. Glynn Wolar (representing North Platte Community College).

Committees

New committees will be formed at the February meeting.

Summary and Strategy

Next meeting: 5:15 p.m. Monday, February 29, 2016

Location: Student Lounge, North Campus, North Platte Community College 1101 Halligan Drive, North Platte.

Agenda
5:15 p.m.Call to Order
Public Comment Period
5:25 p.m.Announcements and Introductions
5:30 p.m.Community Round Table
5:35 p.m.UPRR Update
5:45 p.m.

Meeting Topic:

North Platte Public School District plan for an educated workforce
Speaker: Dr. Ron Hanson, Superintendent

6:30 p.m.Supper Break
7:00 p.m.Committee meetings as needed
7:20 p.m.Summary and Strategy
Plan for next meeting
7:30 p.m.Adjourn