UP main line traffic remains steady

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

Mark Twain and the Union Pacific Corp. share a common bond.

Rumors about the two were exaggerated.

While Twain famously rebutted an 1897 New York Journal obituary about his demise, traffic on the UP’s main line is not down substantially and the company will not be leasing tracks in central Iowa to rival BNSF.

Mark Davis, spokesperson for the UP said Wednesday traffic on the main line through Marshalltown has remained constant.

An average of 45 trains were running through Marshalltown effective the end of the fourth quarter (Dec. 31) in 2012, he said. That has increased to 46 effective by the end of the second quarter (June 30) this year.

“Autos, auto parts, coal and inter-modal trains are those typically going through Marshalltown,” Davis said. “Our business is driven by the economy and we expect rail traffic on our main line through Marshalltown will be increasing as the general economy improves.”

Davis was explicit regarding the UP’s leasing of track to the BNSF.

“We will not be leasing track to the BNSF,” he said.

UP operates 31,900 miles of track in 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States, with 45,700 employees and an annual payroll of $4.3 billion.