Union Pacific Profile & Job Opportunities
If you were to name the preeminent railroad in the United States, the railroad that would most likely rise to the top is Union Pacific. Union Pacific Railroad is the oldest, largest, and probably has the best brand recognition of any modern railroad in the U.S.A.
Union Pacific (commonly referred to as “U.P.”), was one of the two railroads (along with Central Pacific) that created the transcontinental railroad in 1869 when the two railroads drove the “Golden Spike” in Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869.
Union Pacific operates in 23 states over 32,220 miles of track. Many of the miles that Union Pacific Railroad operates has come through acquisitions of other railroads.
Primary commodities and products hauled by Union Pacific
Chemicals, coal, fertilizers, forest products, fresh produce (fruits and vegetables), grain, intermodal traffic (containers and trailers), metals, minerals, petroleum, plastics.
The regions Union Pacific services and how it got there
Union Pacific Railroad links every major city in the west and southwest with four eastern gateways, Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans. Union Pacific also has six gateways to Mexico at Nogales, Arizona, Mexicali, California, and Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass, and El Paso, Texas.
Union Pacific acquired Western Pacific in 1981 and Missouri Pacific in 1982, extending its system to San Francisco and throughout the south central states.
In 1988, Union Pacific purchased the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (the “Katy”, linking Kansas City with Houston and San Antonio.
In 1995, Union Pacific acquired the Chicago & North Western which had been UP's link from Omaha to Chicago and Minneapolis. The purchase of Chicago & North Western also gave Union Pacific access to the lucrative Powder River Basin coal line in Wyoming which continues to pay huge dividends to this day.
In 1996, Union Pacific acquired Southern Pacific Lines, expanding its system by over 14,000 miles. and in the process, bringing the eastern and western halves of the nation's first transcontinental railroad under common ownership. The Southern Pacific acquisition gave UP access to lines that circled around the U.S.'s western and southern perimeter from Portland, Oregon to New Orleans. An interesting note: The purchase also included Southern Pacific's line from Sacramento, California to Ogden, Utah, which was the Central Pacific portion of the transcontinental route. Union Pacific now owned both the eastern and western halves of the United States' first transcontinental railroad.
Also included in the Southern Pacific acquisition were subsidiaries Denver & Rio Grande Western (the “Rio Grande”) and St. Louis Southwestern (the “Cotton Belt”), which added lines from Ogden to Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago.