Local News

Union Pacific to invest $87 million in Louisiana rail upgrades

BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - Union Pacific Railroad will supply $87 million worth of enhancements to Louisiana's rail system this year.

$20 million of those funds will go towards prompt improvements at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. 

Since 2012, more than half a billion dollars has gone towards the state's industrial rejuvenation. 

As one of the country's colossal rail carriers, Union Pacific's expansion has contributed over $178 billion to Louisiana's economy and created more than 115,000 permanent new jobs .

An additional $85 million is expected to benefit the state after the completion of this year's new projects.

The company announced the exciting news of the developments on twitter Monday:

"We’re excited to receive Union Pacific’s continuing vote of confidence in Louisiana’s economy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.

“A state-of-the-art rail network is crucial to our industrial economy and to the hundreds of thousands of Louisiana jobs supported by rail logistics.

"A high-performing intermodal network, supported by transportation leaders like Union Pacific, means that Louisiana’s goods and commerce can reach national and global markets in a seamless fashion."

"That keeps our people employed in competitive jobs and secures the future of those jobs.”

As a result, Drax Biomass will now have ability to transport goods with 80-car trains.

Until now, the manufacturing company could only ship wood pellets at a 45-train car capacity.

Between Alexandria and Shreveport, nearly 150,000 railroad ties and over 56,000 tons of rock support will be put in place along the Mississippi River. 

All of Louisiana's funding is being privately bankrolled and will not be deducted from taxpayer capital. 

Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific’s assistant vice president for public affairs in the company’s Southern Region tells us:

“Our targeted investments support customers and enhance our efficiency to deliver the goods American businesses and families use daily."

An anticipated $3.3 billion will be disbursed by Union Pacific to back their 23-state initiative. 



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