Union Pacific Railroad achieved a record low 2.95 reportable rail equipment incident rate for the first half of the year (through June 30, 2014. This is a 4 percent improvement versus the same period in 2013, when the company reported a 3.07 reportable rail equipment incident rate, and surpasses the previous first half-year record of 3.01, set in 2010. A company’s rail equipment incident rate is calculated using the number of reportable derailments per million train miles.
“Safety is ingrained in our culture at Union Pacific,” said Bob Grimaila, Union Pacific Vice President - Safety, Security and Environment. “Our reduced derailment rate is driven by our dedicated employees who work hard to identify the causes of incidents and put effective solutions in place. This moves us one step closer to our goal of zero incidents.”
Over the last 10 years, Union Pacific invested approximately $30 billion to strengthen its infrastructure and decreased derailments 23 percent. The prevention and risk reduction process includes, among others, the following measures:
- Using lasers and ultrasound technology to identify rail defects;
- Forecasting potential failures before they happen by tracking the acoustic vibration on wheels and heat trends on wheel bearings;
- Performing a real-time analysis of every rail car each time it passes a trackside sensor, equaling 20 million car evaluations per day; and
- Regular employee participation in rigorous safety training, including training to identify and prevent potential derailments.