UP Opens $181 Million Chicago Region Intermodal Facility

ROCHELLE, Ill. – Union Pacific on Aug. 27 officially opened a new $181 million intermodal facility here, which officials say will attract companies to the area.

“The level of interest from companies looking to relocate to the area continues to be quite high,” Neil Palmer, a suburban Milwaukee-based consultant who worked with Union Pacific on the Rochelle hub, told the Rockford Register Star. “It gives you reason to believe that the facility will continue to attract new business as well as keep business in the region.”

Intermodal shipping involves moving freight by more than one mode of transportation without re-packing the shipping container. An example:

    * An ocean-going container, loaded with clothing, arrives by vessel at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., from the Pacific Rim.
    * The container is off-loaded from the ship and placed on a railroad flat car.
    * The flat car is moved by train to Rochelle.
    * The container is removed from the flat car and placed on an over-the-road chassis.
    * The container is driven over-the-road to the customer in the Chicago suburbs.

“Global III is a state-of-the-art facility and another example of Union Pacific Railroad’s unwavering commitment to our intermodal customers,” said UP President and Chief Operating Officer Ike Evans. “This facility will help us increase the ability to handle efficiently the growing rail-truck freight market in Chicago and the upper Midwest.”

Union Pacific’s intermodal traffic has experienced substantial growth in the Chicago area over the last several years. Studies indicate there is a need to expand capacity to handle this and future rail-truck traffic in the Chicago area. Global III, with a capacity to handle 720,000 over-the-road trailers or oceangoing containers annually, allows Union Pacific to continue to pursue opportunities in this growing rail-truck market.

Global III features include:

    * Four tracks to accommodate 94 intermodal "double-stack" railcars for loading.
    * Thirteen yard tracks and six support tracks to improve service reliability.
    * 4,000 "staging" or parking places for trailers and containers.
    * A 10-lane gate entrance, using the latest computer technology and
    * A state-of-the-art security system.

Rochelle is on UP’s main line west of Chicago and served by Interstate highways 88 and 39, as well as several state highways.

Hanson-Wilson, Inc., a Springfield, Ill.-based engineering firm, was chosen to design the facility. Hanson-Wilson has designed four intermodal facilities in Illinois, as well as intermodal facilities in Arkansas, Washington, California and Texas.

Chicago-based construction contractor Ragnar Benson, Inc. (RBI) built the facility. RBI has built more than 30 intermodal facilities across the country.

CenterPoint Properties Trust managed the construction of Global III and is assisting in attracting business to an adjacent industrial park.