Union Pacific Railroad Unveils Autoflex Convertible Rail Car Production Model
Rail Car Designed and Built by UP Employees Provides Customers Enhanced Safety and Service, Superior Security and Flexibility
De Soto, Mo., November 04, 2011 Union Pacific Railroad Senior Vice President – Corporate Relations Bob Turner, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and local officials were on hand today as Union Pacific's employee-designed and built AutoFlex® rail car was rolled out of the fabrication shop door, to the delight of the more than 200 Union Pacific employees who brought the design to life. The 90-foot long AutoFlex® is a convertible, multi-level rail car that can be easily transformed from two to three decks based on the customer's vehicle shipment needs.
"Our nearly 150-year existence is due largely to innovations, like the AutoFlex®, that provide value to our customers, keep us competitive, benefit the industry and sustain and grow jobs. Today marks yet another day when Union Pacific employees showed great ingenuity to provide our customers ever-better service. We are very proud of what they achieved," Turner said.
"The Union Pacific workers in De Soto have, quite literally, kept Missouri and America moving for many decades," Gov. Nixon said. "The next-generation AutoFlex rail car, designed and built right here, is further proof that the label 'Made in Missouri' is a sign of quality and innovation. My congratulations to Union Pacific and the people of De Soto for achieving this milestone in rail transportation."
The AutoFlex® delivers numerous benefits to Union Pacific auto customers, including:
- The flexibility of three decks to transport small vehicles or two decks to accommodate large vehicles. Traditional vehicle-carrying rail cars have either two or three decks and cannot be converted from one to the other.
- Superior security due to the removal of ladder access to the rail car roof and upper decks. The ladder is accessible only when end doors are open.
- A new end-door design with ladders that allow for safer, more ergonomic access to the rail car's interior.
- Increased service quality thanks to a proven durable door edge system, improved tie-down chock systems and upgraded in-transit damage protection.
Union Pacific holds 15 patents related to the design and process that resulted in developing the AutoFlex®. UP employees expect to build 100 AutoFlex® cars in 2011 and are scheduled to build 200, or more, in 2012.
Union Pacific is the largest automotive carrier west of the Mississippi River and operates or accesses 43 distribution centers. The Railroad's extensive franchise serves five vehicle assembly plants and connects to West Coast ports and the Port of Houston to accommodate both import and export shipments. Union Pacific's 18,000 vehicle carrying rail car fleet is the largest in the industry. In addition to transporting finished vehicles, UP provides expedited handling of automotive parts in both boxcars and intermodal containers destined for Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
About Union Pacific
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. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and provides Americans with a fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly and safe mode of freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad emphasizes excellent customer service and offers competitive 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.
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