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New Pedestrian Crossing System Starts Today at Eight Metra Union Pacific West Line Stations

Changes are part of project that aims to improve train flow and enhance safety

Chicago, Ill., March 01, 2011 – A new pedestrian grade crossing system will be activated today at eight stations along the Union Pacific West Line. The new system, called the Another Train Warning System (ATWS), is part of a multi-million dollar project designed to improve the flow of commuter and freight traffic on the heavily used line, as well as to allow trains to safely operate through a station when a commuter train is stopped there.

The system is being activated at the Maywood, Melrose Park, Elmhurst, Villa Park, Glen Ellyn, College Avenue, Winfield and Geneva stations

Metra and Union Pacific studied station improvement initiatives across the country and the West Line safety infrastructure is incorporating the best practices, creating the most comprehensive safety system of any commuter rail operation in the United States.

The Another Train Warning System uses audible and visual alerts to warn pedestrians at crossings near the stations that another train—in addition to the one that is stopped at the station—is approaching or present.  The system enhances other grade crossing protections, including new paths that safely guide pedestrians to a gated crossing, more pedestrian gates and more inter-track fencing to discourage pedestrians from crossing at unsafe and unauthorized locations.

Work at the stations began in March 2009 and was completed in December 2010. Metra service was not disrupted while the project was under way.

Improved Train Flow

Completion of the third main line in two areas on the route in 2013 will provide capacity to keep trains moving.  Installing two universal crossovers will close a 15-mile gap between crossovers on the line in 2011, increasing the use of multiple tracks to bypass rail congestion. An upgraded rail signal system during 2011 will allow trains to safely operate closer together and improve train flow.

Other trains will be able to operate while commuter trains are in stations, as a result of the upgrades.

These improvements, following the completion of the third main line construction, should result in significant reductions in passenger and freight train delays, Metra on-time performance is expected to improve and overall grade crossing gate downtime should improve as well. 

The overall project is also an example of Union Pacific continuing to support its customers' business through strategic investments.

Other information regarding the Metra Union Pacific West Line improvements can be found at

About Metra

Metra provides commuter rail service between the downtown Chicago business district and 239 stations in Northeastern Illinois over 11 routes totaling nearly 500 route miles. Metra operates about 700 weekday trains, providing more than 300,000 passenger trips a day.

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.

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.