Emergency Training and Response Systems

Union Pacific’s Pinnacle Awards for Chemical Transportation Safety

In 2013, Union Pacific named 63 companies as annual Pinnacle Award recipients for chemical transportation safety. The award recognizes Union Pacific customers that implemented successful prevention and corrective plans and achieved zero non-accident releases (NARs) for regulated hazardous materials shipments.

NARs declined by more than 13 percent on Union Pacific’s network from 2004 to 2013, partly due to increased inspections by the railroad’s hazardous materials safety field personnel and customers adhering to the Pinnacle Award criteria.

Union Pacific annually trains local, state and federal first responders on ways to minimize the impact of a derailment on a community. In 2013, we completed our 52nd class at the Association of American Railroads’ Security and Emergency Response Training Center. We also participate in industrywide training tours. Last year, our outreach programs trained nearly 5,500 public responders.

Hazmat and Chemical Risk Reduction

Participating in TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response), we annually coordinate drills reaching thousands of participants to help communities prepare for and respond in the event of an incident involving hazardous materials. Union Pacific requires our hazardous materials managers to participate in state and local planning committees. They work alongside representatives from local fire and health departments, schools, transportation departments and members of the public. During these interactions, Union Pacific managers provide information about chemicals moving through committee members’ communities and help establish safety plans.

We further invested in our preparedness efforts. Our education equipment fleet now includes two training tank cars and 12 training trailers used in our community outreach programs. During these programs, Union Pacific hazmat managers instruct emergency response teams on hazmat incident response procedures for scenarios including derailments, spills and collisions. Union Pacific was the first Class I railroad with the internal capability to transfer liquids or compressed gases between two rail cars in the field, ensuring continuous freight movement to customers’ destinations. A transfer typically occurs if a car has been damaged en route and cannot be safely transported to its destination.

Union Pacific was the first Class I railroad with the internal capability to transfer liquids or compressed gases between two rail cars in the field, ensuring continuous freight movement to customers’ destinations. A transfer typically occurs if a car has been damaged en route and cannot be safely transported to its destination.

Crude by Rail

We take our responsibility to ship crude oil safely very seriously. We follow the strictest safety practices and, in many cases, exceed federal safety regulations. Our goal is to have zero derailments. We are working with the Association of American Railroads, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and our customers and others in the industry, including the American Petroleum Institute, to improve crude-by-rail transport.

Union Pacific Again Secures Responsible Care Certification

Union Pacific’s hazmat transportation efforts focus on four key principles: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Union Pacific has once again successfully met stringent certification requirements under the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Management System (RCMS) program, demonstrating for the public and chemical customers its commitment to safely handling hazardous materials.

Learn more about our hazardous material management and chemical risk reduction policies and practices.