Lincoln County (LincUP) Community Advisory Panel

LincUP Logo ImageLincUP 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 2015 LincUP Panelists.

Questions? Comments?

Contact the LincUP Facilitator, Lorre McKeone.

Present: Ron Bourne, Neil Deertz, Jeff Everett, Alex Gurciullo, Cindy Halligan, Rich Hoaglund, Kim Keeling, Dwight Livingston, Jack Nichols, Gordon Peeks, Lance Polk, Brittany Raymond, Glynn Wolar.

Guests: Craig Johnson (UP)

Absent: Sally Brecks, Angela Brown, Scott Castillo, Dan Czech, Jim Falcon, Shelly Kelly, Bryan Robinson, June Robinson, Gary Smith, Kathy Swain, Dennis Thompson, Jerry Wilson.

Facilitator: Lorre McKeone

Meeting Notes:

Public Comment Period: No comments

Announcements: The facilitator welcomed guest Craig Johnson. Panel members introduced themselves and shared their reason for serving on LincUP. New members were welcomed: Kirsten Parker, Brittany Raymond.

Community Roundtable: Sally Brecks was unable to attend but asked the facilitator to share information about measles, a highly contagious virus showing up in Nebraska. An information sheet will be distributed.

UP Report/Year-End Update from Headquarters: Craig Johnson, general director, Chemical Transportation Safety -

Union Pacific Railroad showed continued growth in 2014 grounded in an unrivaled network, strategic investment, excellent service, innovative products and strong relationships. Union Pacific demonstrates its strong commitment to safety by co-sponsoring Safety Forums and TransCaer training tours for first responders and volunteer fire departments. This year the tour targets the transport of crude oil in Iowa communities. UP also maintains the largest hazmat response group in the industry.

Safety remains an overriding priority at all levels. To reduce risk, UP is working to standardize work/training/rules, identify and mitigate risk, and invest in needed capital improvements. UP also supports employee safety initiatives including Courage to Care and Total Safety Culture. In 2014, UP set a new record of .98 injuries per 200,000 man hours across the entire system. Overall, incidents involving rail equipment, grade crossings and personal injuries are trending lower each year.

The Hazardous Materials Management Group aggressively works to prevent hazardous materials releases, prepare for responsive activity and work across all departments to recover in the event of an incident.

Technology continues to be developed to improve safety and limit damaging incidents. PTC (Positive Train Control), designed to prevent head-on collisions, is being tested in California. It must be proven to be failsafe before it will be implemented. Weather interference and dropped cell phone signals are making this challenging. Other technologies in place to prevent equipment failure and derailments include dragging equipment detectors, wayside detectors (which use acoustics to identify bad bearings), wheel temperature detectors (to signal stuck brakes), a wheel inspection house, wheel profile detectors, and thermal imaging. All these technologies are exception based, flagging things that are unusual and sending an alert that certain equipment or cars should be repaired. Wind monitors alert crews to conditions where high profile cars may be in danger of blowing over.

Public safety is also a high priority. UP supports Operation Lifesaver to inform the public of potentially dangerous situations and behaviors. New signs are being installed near crossings to increase awareness.

For more information about safety initiatives:

UP Report/Year-End Update from North Platte: Jeff Everett, director-Transportation Services -

Systemwide, Union Pacific had “sub one” reportable injuries for every 200,000 man hours. Efforts continue to find ways to identify risks and improve both awareness and safety.

Coal trains continue to make up the biggest percentage of cars traveling through this service unit, averaging 30 trains per day. A modest increase in coal volume is anticipated for 2015.

In 2013, there were nearly 3500 new hires across the UP system. The 2014 hiring plan projected to add 3900 employees, but actual hires ended up at 6245 workers. 2015 projections call for approximately 5700 new hires but hiring will not be evenly spread across the system. The North Platte Service Unit plans to hire up to 30 new employees/month for the next four months to become train engineers and yard men. All crafts will be involved in a hiring fair on February 4th and 5th. Panel members were encouraged to tell friends and family members about employment opportunities with Union Pacific.

Overall, Union Pacific had a strong year in terms of safety and financial progress. The operating ratio of 63.5% is up 2.6% from 2013. With over $4 billion reinvested in infrastructure, Union Pacific is well resourced with people and equipment to meet the needs of customers in the coming year.

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 Association (of which UP is a partner member). LincUP is one of three community advisory panels on the Union Pacific system. Other CAPs are in North Little Rock and 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.

Recognition of panel members completing 3 years of service

Ron Bourne and Glenn Johnson were honored for completing three years on the panel. A recognition plaque was presented to Ron by Craig Johnson and Jeff Everett. Glenn was unable to attend the meeting. The facilitator will take his plaque to him.

Brainstorming ideas for 2015 Meeting topics

The panel suggested the following possible meeting topics for 2015:

  • Tour of Bailey Yard (To use the Golden Spike Tower for supper we need to schedule it between Oct & April)
  •  North Platte Waste Water Treatment Plant 
  • Wellness Program – CPR class 
  • Airport Authority – new Airline in March? 
  • Tour of 911 Center 
  • Hospital Tour and Med Air 
  • Tour Health and Science Building at North Platte Community College 
  • 72nd Civil Support – respond to help out after a HazMat event 
  • Fire Dept – HazMat truck – State emergency response team mobilization plan (one of 8) 
  • LDP program – Leadership program 
  • Haz-Mat and Environmental Update (Kim and Bryan) 
  • Emergency Response – NP Police and Fire Dept 
  • Middle school restructuring 
  • Flood response Table Top exercise – Brandon 
  • Emergency response Program – Municipal Light & Water & NPPD 
  • Terminal Pipeline south of town 
  • Small town volunteer fire dept. 
  • Environmental issues at UP and impact on ground water 
  • UP Wellness program


New Membership, Planning and Outreach Committees were formed and began organizational work for the year.

Summary and Strategy


Next meeting: 5:15 p.m. Monday, February 23, 2015

Location: Student Lounge, North Campus of North Platte Community College

Meeting Topic: UP Wellness Program and CPR Training

Speaker:  UP Nurses


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.UP Report
5:40 p.m.Meeting Topic: K.I.D.S. Klub, Carrie Lieneman, Director
6:30 p.m.Supper Break
7:00 p.m.Committee Meetings
7:20 p.m.Summary and Strategy
Plan for Next Meeting
7:30 p.m.Adjourn