Developing a Rail-Served Facility

The following information is provided to help guide you through the planning and construction process of developing a rail-served facility.

The time required for rail spur construction depends largely on the magnitude of your project; averages presented below represent typical situations. Additional time may be necessary if your project involves road crossings, utilities or requires State permitting approval.

  • Track construction without addition of a Union Pacific turnout averages eleven (11) months.
  • Addition of a Union Pacific turnout averages fifteen (15) months.
  • Addition of a Union Pacific turnout and signal facilities averages seventeen (17) months.

If you have questions concerning these procedures or require further assistance with your project planning, please contact your Union Pacific Industrial Development Regional Manager. There are additional resources available on Technical Specifications for Construction of Industrial Tracks.

Step 1 - Getting Started

A project officially begins when you submit a Service Feasibility Questionnaire.This provides Union Pacific with the information necessary to evaluate your proposed project. If you are unable to process this online form, please contact your Marketing and Sales representative for assistance. If you have not already done so, you will also need to select a qualified rail engineering consultant for your project. A list of consultants with experience in railroad construction projects is available for your review.

Step 2 - Location Analysis

To begin the Location Analysis phase, you will be contacted by an Industrial Development Regional Manager. Together you will evaluate the proposed project, review Union Pacific's Industry Access Guidelines and establish an on-site meeting plan. It is important that your rail engineering consultant be available to participate during this on-site discussion as they will be required to prepare a 10% Conceptual Plan for Union Pacific's inter-departmental review and approval.

Step 3 - Business Analysis

Following analysis of the proposed location, your Marketing and Sales representative will address any concerns surrounding service, rates, billing and/or equipment. A Memorandum of Understanding will be prepared to document the plan we have jointly developed for your facility.  If your project will involve signal facilities, your consultant will then prepare a 30% Switch Location Plan to expedite the signal planning process. 

Step 4 - Final Documentation

  • Your consultant will prepare detailed construction drawings of the proposed track layout and an Exhibit A, which will become part of your Industrial Track Agreement.
  • Initially, you will receive a Track Agreement packet providing an introduction to the legal documents, payments and insurance required for your project. Once the track design is finalized, you will receive an Industrial Track Agreement for execution.  If your project requires Union Pacific to perform work, you will also receive the cost estimate and information for your rail contractor to secure necessary track materials.

Step 5 - Track Construction

Upon execution of your Industrial Track Agreement, you are ready to begin track construction. If your project requires Union Pacific to perform work, we will schedule the labor and material for your project at this time. Upon completion, your rail contractor will contact the designated railroad representative for final inspection, a requirement to place the track  "in service."