Union Pacific Rail Yard Could Be Key to Future Commuter Rail Serving Brighton and Fort Lupton
UP Agrees to Allow Future Transit on Its Denver-Greeley Corridor
Omaha, Neb., September 13, 2007 Union Pacific’s proposed rail facility between Brighton, Colo., and Fort Lupton, Colo., could pave the way for the future extension of commuter rail service on the railroad’s Denver to Greeley corridor as part of its pending agreement with the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to relocate two Union Pacific northeast Denver rail facilities.
A classification yard and intermodal terminal currently located in Denver would be relocated to the proposed new terminal between Brighton and Fort Lupton in order to make way for two FasTracks commuter rail corridors.
Commuter rail service could also serve the area communities of Platteville, Gilcrest, La Salle and Evans in the future, if feasible. The agreement does not specify when commuter rail service would be extended north. Because Weld County is not part of RTD, the district would not build or operate commuter rail transit service in the county.
Under the pending agreement, the RTD would have the option to purchase about a 55-mile long by 50-foot right of way that could run from Denver to Greeley on UP’s 90-mile Greeley Subdivision corridor that has served communities in Adams and Weld counties since 1878.
"Whether it’s 8,800 new jobs from rail-related development in the area or the potential for expanding commuter rail service to Brighton and Fort Lupton, our proposed facility will have a positive effect on the economic development for the communities on this corridor," said Dick Hartman, director – public affairs. "We believe our investment in the proposed rail yard will also enhance the economic future of the surrounding communities."
Local business leaders agree.
"Economic development means helping us bring in new jobs, new tax revenues and future commuter rail service. UP obviously is committed to us, our children and grandchildren," said John Dent, President of the Fort Lupton Development Corporation.
"We’re pleased to see there’s even more benefit to this project than we thought," said long-time community leader Don Cummins. "This is a substantial project that will bring many benefits for generations to come."
Union Pacific and RTD have entered into an agreement to fund work that will allow UP to establish the feasibility and cost of its potential relocation. The work is scheduled for completion in late 2007 and a decision by RTD and UP on building the new facilities would be made shortly thereafter. If they decide to relocate to the Fort Lupton/Brighton study area, construction would take place in 2008-2009, with the new facility opening in 2010.
The proposed rail facility would consist of two types of rail yards – an intermodal terminal and a classification rail yard. A transload area will also be located in the rail yard.
An intermodal terminal is a highly secure facility used to transfer containers from rail cars to trucks or vice versa. Intermodal shipping involves moving freight by more than one mode of transportation without re-packing the shipping container. An example:
- An ocean-going container, loaded with consumer goods, arrives by vessel at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., from the Pacific Rim.
- The container is off-loaded from the ship and placed on a railroad flat car.
- The flat car is moved by train to the proposed Fort Lupton/Brighton intermodal terminal.
- The container is removed from the flat car and placed on an over-the-road truck chassis.
- The container is driven over-the-road to the customer in the Fort Lupton/Brighton or Denver area.
A classification yard is a sorting facility where inbound trains are broken down and reassembled into new outbound trains serving Front Range businesses. Goods such as lumber from the Pacific Northwest; steel from Utah and Texas and cement from Kansas and Wyoming are examples of shipments destined for area businesses. The proposed yard would consist of tracks used for:
- Arriving and departing trains
- Sort rail cars by destination
- Making minor repairs to rail cars
Locomotive servicing and inspections
A transload area consists of several tracks where rail cars are positioned for Front Range customers to load or unload them.
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 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.
For further information, contact Mark Davis of Union Pacific at (402) 544-5459.
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