Union Pacific Promotes Driver Safety During Winter Storms

Omaha, Neb., March 20, 2006 – Due to the current winter storms in the Midwest, Union Pacific Railroad wants to remind motorists to be extremely careful at railroad grade crossings.

"We’ve had situations where motorists in low visibility conditions resulting from blowing snow – commonly referred to as ‘white-outs’ – can drive off the shoulder of roadways and get their vehicles stuck on railroad grade crossings," said Dale Bray, Union Pacific’s director of public safety. "This is a dangerous situation because these vehicles can be hit by oncoming trains, which can take more than a mile to stop. Another hazard is deep snow at grade crossings. Similar to stalling out in deep water during a flood, vehicles can get stuck on the tracks if they try to drive through deep snow drifts that may accumulate on or near grade crossings."

If a vehicle does become stuck on the rails, occupants should immediately get out of the vehicle and move a safe distance away and call our toll-free hotline 1-888-877-7267 to report this emergency. There is a Department of Transportation (DOT) six-digit number with a letter on the back of the crossbuck that should be provided to the railroad hotline. Motorists can also provide cross streets if the DOT number is not readily available. This will help UP identify the location and take appropriate measures to avoid collisions.

As a final safety reminder, Bray added, "If you see a train coming, move a safe distance away so you are not injured by debris that might result from a collision."

Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.

For more information, contact James Barnes, 402-544-3560.

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