Bookmark and Share

Union Pacific Railroad Celebrates Opening of Its State-of-the-Art Joliet Intermodal Terminal

Grand Opening Ceremony

Joliet, Ill, October 18, 2010 – Officials and customers gathered today to celebrate the opening of Union Pacific Railroad's nearly $370 million, 785-acre Joliet Intermodal Terminal. Located approximately five miles south of I-80 and seven miles east of I-55, the facility increases Union Pacific's international and domestic container capacity while improving rail traffic efficiencies throughout the Chicago region, which is the largest rail center in the nation.

 "Our $370 million private investment for this intermodal terminal will greatly enhance our ability to serve customers and the community.  The advanced computers and technology used here coordinate all movements in the terminal, improving productivity and performance while reducing emissions," said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and CEO.
"The building of this facility created nearly 6,000 construction jobs. If we look at CenterPoint Properties' entire development, we can also expect up to 1,300 permanent intermodal facility jobs, 4,500 industrial park jobs and more than 3,000 new truck driver positions," Young said.

"Union Pacific built the Joliet Intermodal Terminal with an eye toward the environment.  We installed solar panels to harness the sun's energy to provide electricity to our office at the entrance to the terminal, and we purchased air compressors equipped with 'soft start' technology which requires less energy when starting in our effort to make this facility the 'greenest' terminal on our system," Young said.

There has been substantial growth in intermodal traffic, particularly in the Chicago area, during the last decade, and Union Pacific's new Joliet Intermodal Terminal is designed to handle an annual capacity of 500,000 over-the-road trailers or ocean-going containers. This capacity allows Union Pacific to continue to pursue opportunities in this growing rail-truck market. The new facility has additional space for future expansion based on customer demand and capacity needs.

Construction began on the terminal in August 2008 and phase one was completed August 1, 2010. 

Phase One of the Joliet Intermodal Terminal project features many advantages for Union Pacific customers, including:

  • Four 8,000-foot tracks with capacity to handle the loading or unloading of 104 intermodal "double-stack" rail cars.
  • Six 8,000-foot tracks to give train crews the ability to sort rail cars by destination.
  • An additional six tracks to stage rail cars prior to unloading or loading.
  • Four cranes that straddle the rail cars and one rubber-tired mobile "packer" that lifts trailers and containers on and off rail cars.  The cranes are equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, increasing loading and unloading efficiencies.
  • More than 4,000 "staging," or parking places, for trailers and containers.
  • Advanced technology that coordinates all movement of rail cars, trucks and trailers and containers at the facility.
  • Technology that decreases truck processing time at the terminal's entrance from four minutes to as little as 30 to 90 seconds, resulting in reduced fuel use and emissions.

This facility is the second largest Union Pacific intermodal terminal based on capacity.  The Intermodal Container and Trailer Facility (ICTF) in Long Beach is the largest with an annual capacity of 700,000 trailers or containers.

Mike Mullen, Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint Properties, stated, "In addition to being the greenest intermodal facility in the country, Union Pacific's new Joliet Intermodal Terminal will bring hundreds of new jobs to the region and create a more efficient supply chain from the west coast and Asia.  CenterPoint is very pleased to work with Union Pacific on this tremendous project."

Union Pacific invested more than $256 million for capital projects in Illinois in 2009.

Union Pacific plans to spend approximately $2.6 billion in 2010 to support America's current and future freight transportation needs and enhance the safety and efficiency of its 32,000-mile network. Improved and additional rail capacity benefits everyone. It allows freight rail service to grow, helping to build a cleaner environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, freight trains are nearly four times more fuel efficient than trucks.

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 responsible 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, making it North America's premier rail franchise.

Media contact:  Mark Davis at 402-544-5459 or

The statements and information contained in the news releases provided by Union Pacific speak only as of the date issued. Such information by its nature may become outdated, and investors should not assume that the statements and information contained in Union Pacific's news releases remain current after the date issued. Union Pacific makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of this information.