Harvard Line Commuters Receive Safety Education Blitz

Union Pacific Special Agents and Local Police Conduct On-Train Communications Campaign

Omaha, Neb., April 20, 2007 – Today, Union Pacific in cooperation with Illinois Operation Lifesaver, Illinois Commerce Commission, Metra and the Federal Railroad Administration, is working to promote safe decisions around highway-rail crossings and operations on the Harvard commuter rail line serving northwest Chicago. The safety campaign is being led by law enforcement representatives from Union Pacific and police officers from communities served by the Harvard line, including Arlington Heights, Barrington-Inverness, Cary, Crystal Lake, Des Plaines, Fox River Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, and Park Ridge.

"Rail safety is our number one priority," said Arnold Robinson, Union Pacific’s superintendent of commuter operations – northern region. "Through our myriad of partners, we are able to effectively promote safety to Chicagoans and especially commuters served by Union Pacific on the Harvard line because we have seen first-hand that education can make a difference."

The Harvard line, which stretches northwest from downtown Chicago to Harvard, Ill., has 76 crossings with gates. Approximately 65 to 70 commuter and freight trains operate on the rail line each day with commuter trains operating at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.

"Over the last seven years, more than 40 collisions have occurred on this line, resulting in eight deaths and 12 injuries," said Chip Pew, state coordinator for Operation Lifesaver in Illinois. "The involvement with so many communities highlights the strong commitment in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois to work toward greater awareness and a safer railway industry."

Union Pacific special agents and law enforcement representatives from community police departments along the Harvard line will be on board commuter trains in the afternoon to distribute literature and talk with passengers.
 
For more information contact James Barnes, Union Pacific Railroad, at 402-544-3560 or Chip Pew, Operation Lifesaver in Illinois at 847-433-3943.

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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.

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