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Special Union Pacific Train Focuses on Rail Safety Enforcement

Message to Aurora, Denver Drivers: Safety is Top Priority at Railroad Crossings

Denver, Colo., July 21, 2009 – There is no such thing as luck when it comes to trying to beat a train. Federal Railroad Administration statistics attribute nearly 2,400 crashes every year to driver behavior, which often involves trying to beat a train. That is why Union Pacific is partnering with Colorado law enforcement agencies to host an "Officer on the Train" event July 22.

A special passenger train will allow community leaders, law enforcement officers and education officials to learn about the importance of highway-railroad grade crossing safety.

Union Pacific will work with the Aurora Police Department from 9 a.m. - noon, leaving from the Roydale Yard west of the 37th Street and Peoria Street crossing. Union Pacific then will work with the Denver Police Department from 1 - 4 p.m., leaving from the Denver Intermodal facility at 1851 40th Street.

"We want to offer community leaders the opportunity to see first-hand the risks people take every time they try to beat the train," said Cayl England of the Union Pacific police department. "Everyone from the new teenage driver to professional drivers needs to be aware of rail safety and this is one way Union Pacific builds partnerships with the community to reduce fatalities and injuries at grade crossings."

"Officer on the Train" allows local police officers to ride on trains and observe motorist behavior at highway-railroad grade crossings. If a motorist violates the grade-crossing traffic laws, the police officer on the train radios an officer near the crossing who can issue the motorist a citation along with educating them about rail safety.

While law enforcement officers focus on the public outside the train, civic leaders inside the train will get a rare opportunity to see what train crew members see.  Video cameras are mounted in the locomotive cabs, broadcasting to television monitors in the passenger cars.

Union Pacific also works with Operation Lifesaver, a nationwide non-profit public safety education and outreach program designed to eliminate collisions, deaths and injuries where streets and roads cross railroad tracks at grade and on railroad rights of way.  Operation Lifesaver's trained and certified volunteer speakers provide free safety presentations for various professions and for all age groups in order to increase public safety around railroad tracks.

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.

For further information, contact Tom Lange at (402) 544-3560 or

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