Oregon: Safety is Our Passion


Union Pacific has operated in Oregon for more than 135 years, and the state has played a vital role in the history of our company and our country.

For many of the 1,600 Union Pacific employees in the Portland service area, Oregon is home. When mechanical failures or the rare incident occur, we take responsibility. We learn, and we improve. We care about our home and are dedicated to keeping it safe for our neighbors, our families and our employees.

Safety is priority one at Union Pacific. In places like Oregon, preserving natural beauty and the local environment are paramount, and it's our goal to keep Union Pacific rail freight moving safely through these communities. We are always looking for ways to innovate, refine and advance our safety measures. Efforts include increased rail inspections and using rail monitoring technology to keep our communities safe–mile by mile.

See our progress in action, and experience Union Pacific's unparalleled commitment to keeping Oregon safe.

  • Track safety is our number one priority
  • Our goal is to be even better than our 99.98% safety record
  • Personally walking & inspecting curves

Fastening System Replacement

Union Pacific replaced the lag bolt fastening system that secures railroad tracks with a spike fastening system in the Columbia River Gorge. While both systems are equally safe, rail spikes provide higher levels of defect detectability during inspections.

Fastening systems will be replaced in the rest of the state as rail lines are scheduled for replacement as part of Union Pacific’s ongoing track renewal program.

Union Pacific track inspectors will conduct walking inspections on tracks with lag bolt fastening systems. Walking inspections for lag bolt securement will not be required once spike fastening systems are installed.

Track Safety Inspection Schedule

Following is the track safety inspection schedule for Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge.
  Oregon Gorge
Visual Hy-rail Inspection 2-4x per week 2-4x per week
Geometry Car 2x per year 4x per year
Ultrasonic Rail Testing (DC) 3x per year or more 4x per year or more
Gauge Restraint Measurement System 2x per year 4x per year
Lag Curve Walking Inspections Every 90 days N/A 

Safety Inspection Fleet