Economic Impact

Alia Eden, machinist

Financial Performance and Capital Investment

For the full year 2015, Union Pacific reported net income of $4.8 billion or $5.49 per diluted share. This compares to $5.2 billion or $5.75 per diluted share in 2014, 8 and 5 percent decreases, respectively. Operating revenue totaled $21.8 billion versus $24.0 billion in 2014. Operating income totaled $8.1 billion, an 8 percent decrease from a record-setting 2014.


Building America Report 2015: Capital Investment

Delivering Value to Our Customers

Open lines of communication and intuitive technology are critical to creating an excellent customer experience where our shippers have access to the information they need when they need it.

Our Customer Satisfaction Survey provides valuable feedback on a broad range of service components, opportunities for strengthening our product and comparative performance measurements.

We introduced the MyUPRR app last year, making it more convenient for customers to monitor and manage rail shipments. The app offers customers a mobile option, in addition to their customized UP Web portal, for accessing shipment information, locating and releasing shipments, reporting service issues, and receiving rail operations updates.

Our National Customer Service Center and dedicated marketing and sales representatives are still a click or phone call away. The MyUPRR App is simply the latest example of how we continually look for ways to enhance the customer experience.


Union Pacific is one of the leaders in wind energy component transportation. Working with our subsidiary, Union Pacific Distribution Services (UPDS), we have transported an estimated 40,000 wind energy components since 2006. This equals approximately 5,000 wind turbines that can power about 1.8 million U.S. households.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind energy generating capacity increased 28 percent between 2010 and 2014. During the first three quarters of 2015, 3,596 megawatts of wind capacity were installed in the United States, double the rate of 2014.

As the need to transport wind energy components grows, rail offers shippers a more fuel-efficient alternative to trucks, and also reduces highway congestion, and wear and tear on roads.

The United States Department of Energy expects wind energy will grow as our country looks to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels. Union Pacific and UPDS are well-positioned to support customers' efforts to power our country with clean and sustainable energy.

Building America Report 2015: Wind Energy Growth


Danger warnings were issued when heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures blew into the Chicago area in the winter of 2014, creating a storm meteorologists named CHIberia. The extreme conditions taxed our employees and equipment as we worked to continue rail operations.

The snow had not yet melted when Union Pacific started planning for the next storm. Learning from CHIberia's challenges, we crafted a winter weather plan to maintain service in the Chicago area, a vital transportation hub that handles one-fourth of the nation's freight rail traffic – about 37,500 rail cars daily.*

Key winter weather initiatives activated in 2015 included:

  • Mobilizing winter weather command centers across our Northern Region.
  • Securing new snow removal equipment, such as generators and blizzard buses. Blizzard buses are modified cabooses used to store supplies and provide shelter for crews.
  • Increasing mechanical and engineering personnel to provide around-the-clock coverage. Even though we face challenging conditions every winter, employees have the know-how to overcome rail-related issues no matter what Mother Nature sends our way.

*Source: Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program.

Local Economic Impacts


Opening the Kinney County Railport – The Beer Business

The Union Pacific Kinney County Railport opened in 2015, supporting growing import beer businesses near Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico.

Rail cars are cleaned, maintained and prepared to meet food-grade guidelines for customers at this $40 million facility located between Eagle Pass and Brackettville, Texas. Once cleaned, the cars are transported to Mexico to be loaded with beer bound for the United States.

Through the railport's opening, we also created more than 100 jobs to support the facility, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a local community member, Union Pacific contributes to several Kinney County development projects. In 2015, the Union Pacific Foundation provided the county a $35,000 grant to build a learning center in Brackettville and helped refurbish a high school gymnasium. We also sponsored the annual Walk for Life cancer event.

Building America Report 2015 - Beer Business

Representatives from Union Pacific and Harbor Rail Services cut the ribbon at the Kinney County Railport grand opening.

Making Railroad History — West Rail International Bridge

Union Pacific made railroad history last year as trains traveled over the first international railroad crossing bridge built in more than a century. The 8-mile West Rail International Bridge, which spans the Rio Grande River, replaced the Brownsville and Matamoros (B&M) Bridge that connected Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The relocation of our border crossing from the B&M Bridge to the West Rail International Bridge helped eliminate 14 railroad crossings and reduced motorist congestion in the Brownsville community, which has grown significantly since B&M Bridge's construction in 1910.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and government officials from Mexico spoke at the West Rail International Bridge's inaugural ceremony in August 2015. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Cameron County, and the cities of Brownsville and Matamoros also attended the historic celebration.

Building America Report 2015 - West Rail International Bridge

The West Rail Bridge connecting Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, is the first international rail bridge built in more than a century.

Investing in the Future — Port Laredo Expansion Project in the Lone Star State

Freight moving in Texas is projected to grow from 2.6 billion tons to more than 3.8 billion tons between 2014 and 2040, according to the Texas Freight Mobility Plan. Transportation planners warn an extreme increase could worsen already congested highways, making railroads vital to the health of the state's transportation system.

Union Pacific has invested more than $2.8 billion in our 6,310-mile rail network in the Lone Star State since 2009. Last year, we made infrastructure improvements in Houston, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, San Antonio and along the south Texas border. We also broke ground on a multi-year project to expand our Port Laredo intermodal facility, where more than 500 trucks enter and exit daily.

The expansion project will include building additional infrastructure across 50 acres of land, extending rail and installing an automated gate system that will reduce truck inspection times from about eight minutes to 90 seconds.

Automated inspections eliminate the time trucks sit idle while inspectors conduct a physical examination. Increased efficiencies at Port Laredo will help reduce emissions in Laredo and its sister city, Nuevo Laredo, where approximately $280 billion in U.S. trade with Mexico crosses annually.