OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad will increase the speed of its trains from 10 mph to 20 mph on nearly 12 miles of its rail line located in Kennewick, Wash. The rail line generally parallels state highway SR 240 through Kennewick.
The increased train speed will take effect September 1, 2009. Trains currently operate through the area at 10 mph due to track and operating constraints. Recent track improvements will permit the higher speed.
Union Pacific invested $2.8 million this year on track improvements in Kennewick. Crews recently completed the installation of approximately 23,500 new cross ties and 700 new switch ties — switches guide a train from one track to another — placed 200 rail cars of rock ballast and performed track surfacing. Work will continue on upgrading nine existing public grade crossings for approximately 60 days.
The increased train speeds will allow Union Pacific trains to operate more efficiently and motorists to experience less time waiting at crossings.