Lincoln County (LincUP) Community Advisory Panel

LincUPLincUP provides open dialogue on health, safety and environmental issues between representatives of the community and Union Pacific Railroad to promote awareness and understanding for mutual benefit. For a complete listing of members, see 2014 LincUP Panelists.

Questions? Comments?

Contact the LincUP Facilitator, Lorre McKeone.

Minutes of Meeting: May 19, 2014

Present: Ron Bourne, Angela Brown, Erik Erikson, Rich Hoaglund, Kim Keeling, Dwight Livingston, Gordon Peeks, Bryan Robinson, Kathy Swain, Gary Wilson.  Facilitator: Lorre McKeone.  Guests: Kelli O'Brien, Howard Propst

Absent:  Sally Brecks, Scott Castillo, Dan Czech, Neil Deertz, Bruce Dodson, Tammy Dugger, Jim Falcon, Cindy Halligan, Glenn Johnson, Shelly Kelly, Lance Polk, June Robinson, Kyle Shepherd, Gary Smith, Dennis Thompson, Glynn Wolar. 


Meeting Notes

Public Comment Period:  No observers

Announcements:  No meeting in June.  Sue Mulligan has resigned from her position with WCMRS and from the LincUP panel for family reasons.  She was a great panel member and will be missed.

Community Roundtable:  No announcements


UP Report

Erik Erickson reported that business continues to be brisk with seven-day car loadings at 180,000+.  Bailey Yard is averaging 102 trains per day, up from 97 last year at this time.  Some of the increased volume is a result of backlogs in Chicago caused by inclement winter weather, but there have also been increases in industrial product shipments, and crude oil from developments in Colorado and Wyoming.  Approximately 28 coal trains are going through the Yard each day (25 projected) as customers restock coal piles depleted in high burns this past winter.  Regional velocity is at 17.5 mph compared to the planned 23 mph as the system continues to work through the weather related backlog.  North Platte Service Unit velocity for May was 19.7 mph.  No employees are furloughed and additional hiring continues.  Safety indicators are positive with derailments and reportable incidents down.  

Kim Keeling reported on ramped-up fire department training on how to respond to incidents involving crude oil, a flammable liquid.  Each year, UPRR pays for several fire department crews to attend tank car training sessions at a testing and training center in Pueblo, Colorado.  Erik answered questions about a collision at Bailey Yard between a trespasser and a fuel truck.  Kim provided details about a derailment of tank cars in LaSalle, Colorado.  

Meeting Topic - Community Outreach and Union Pacific Railroad

Kelly Keeling (UPRR Director of Public Affairs, Iowa and Nebraska) shared information about the Union Pacific Foundation, founded in 1959, which funds worthy community causes in the 23 state region served by Union Pacific.  This foundation is fully funded each year out of operating profits of the Union Pacific Corporation.  In 2013, $6.9 million was awarded in 980 grants with 69 of these in Nebraska. Kelli was scheduled to make check presentations to four North Platte grant recipients at a leadership dinner on May 20.  Organizations receiving funds are Creativity Unlimited Arts Council, Golden Spike, Mid Plains United Way and Wish I May. 

Grants are awarded to 501c3 organizations for worthy health and wellness efforts, community and civic projects and the arts. Kelli walked the group through the grant application process on the UP website (  Click on "About Us", then "In our Communities" and scroll down to the very bottom where you will find Union Pacific Foundation.  Click on "Foundation Overview" and then "Community Based Grant Program" to see general grant criteria and information on who can apply, how to complete the online grant application, and grant application deadlines.  Applications for 2015 can be submitted from May 1 through August 15 and Kelli is happy to help walk people through the process.  Contact information for Kelli and other UP personnel who work with communities can also be found on the UP website (  Click on "About Us" then scroll down to "Local Community Contacts" and click on "Public Affairs-Community Contacts".  Or click on "Donation Requests" if you would like to request UPRR to funding of things like banquets, walks, galas, athletic programs, etc.  Whether applying for grants from the Foundation or donations, it is important to send in your request early for best results.

         Kelli also shared information about an exciting event coming to North Platte on June 28th.  One of Union Pacific's Heritage Trains will leave Omaha early that morning and make whistle stops at Columbus, Grand Island, Kearney and North Platte. Union Pacific senior executives plus 15 Husker athletic coaches will be on board to thank UP communities for their support of the railroad and UNL athletics.  All Husker and rail fans are encouraged to come out to the Golden Spike for this unique opportunity to meet these key leaders as well as former Husker players.  Festivities begin at 5:00 and will conclude by 6:45.  More details about this event will be forwarded to LincUP panel members.  Please forward this information to those in the groups that you represent to ensure that we have a great turn-out for this special event. 


Membership: Openings on the panel:  parents, retired/seniors and students.  Suggestions were made to contact Diane Ostermeyer regarding a St. Pat's student and Jack Nichols, retired railroader.  

Planning:   Superstorm Sandy community response (July), K.I.D.S. Club (August), 72nd Civil Support Team (September) - possible.                                     

Outreach:  no activity


Summary and Strategy

Next meeting: 5:15 p.m. Monday, July 28, 2014

Location:  Student Cafeteria, north campus of North Platte Community College

Meeting Topic: Superstorm Sandy Community Response, Chuck Scripter, American Red Cross Disaster Volunteer

Student Lounge, North Campus, North Platte Community College
1101 Halligan Drive, North Platte


5:15 p.m. Call to order
Public Comment Period
5:25 p.m. Announcements and Introductions
5:30 p.m. Community Round Table
5:35 p.m. UP Report
5:40 p.m.

Meeting Topic: Superstorm Sandy Community Response, Speaker: Chuck Scripter, Red Cross Disaster Volunteer

6:30 p.m. Supper Break
7:00 p.m. Committee Meetings
7:20 p.m. Summary and Strategy
Plan for Next Meeting
7:30 p.m. Adjourn