Securing the Chemicals Our Customers Produce and Americans Need

Railroads are the safest way to move the goods our customers produce and Americans use daily.

Union Pacific is a common carrier by rail. Federal law requires common carriers, like Union Pacific, to transport hazardous materials. Railroads haul 20 percent of the chemicals used in the United States – from chlorine that not only cleans water but also is used in pharmaceuticals, building materials and many products we use every day.

Currently, 99.9977 percent of chemicals shipments move without incident or loss. However, we will not be satisfied until we meet our 100 percent objective. Union Pacific has developed the following procedures and programs to help meet this objective.

Precision in Tracking

We manage every move with the utmost precision. Leading-edge technology helps Union Pacific track sensitive materials shipped on the railroad. With the click of a mouse on our secure surveillance network, security personnel can find Toxic Inhalation Hazard shipments anywhere on the system, whether the cars are moving or not.


We work with community emergency response personnel to implement preparedness tools and approaches. This includes sharing best practices and jointly educating our mutual team members. We have trained approximately 19,000 public responders in the last four years.

Each year, Union Pacific participates in industry wide whistle stop training tours. Nearly 6,000 local emergency responders have been reached through these locally administered training programs at Union Pacific-sponsored sites, which focus on emergency response as it relates to all forms of transportation, including railroads and truck lines.

Emergency Response Committees

Keeping our communities safe also requires partnering with multiple community stakeholders to discuss and prepare for emergencies. Union Pacific employees actively participate in state and local emergency planning committees which include representatives from local fire and health departments, education institutions, industry organizations, transportation departments and the public.

Partnering With Customers

TRANSCAER : Union Pacific and Dow Chemical created the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response, TRANSCAER , a national initiative to improve emergency responder awareness of hazardous materials transportation throughout the country. Together we have created a safety train that provides free training to local firefighters and emergency response personnel.

Responsible Care

Union Pacific participates in Responsible Care, the chemical industry’s national quality initiative to improve processes related to safety, health, environment and security beyond levels required by the U. S. government. Union Pacific was the only railroad to be certified under Responsible Care 2000 standards and was the first railroad to be certified under 2004 standards. Certification requires outside auditors to review the company’s management practices at headquarters and in the field.