Union Pacific expands intermodal service between Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles

RELATED TOPICS: UNION PACIFIC | INTERMODAL | COLORADO | WEST
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OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific, which has been pruning intermodal lanes as it shifts to a Precision Scheduled Railroading operating model, has launched more frequent intermodal service between Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles.

“Union Pacific is expanding the frequency of service in the Denver/Salt Lake City to Los Angeles corridor in order to meet the increasing demand for intermodal service,” the railroad announced in customer advisory on Monday. “These changes will improve the number of days service is offered each week and improve scheduled availability times.”

From Denver to Los Angeles, domestic service now operates six days a week, up from five, while domestic service from Salt Lake City to L.A. now operates daily, up from four days per week.

Service from Denver to Salt Lake moves to six days, up from five per week.

The new service comes just in time: Last week UP shut the Denver terminal to new traffic for three days in order to give the railroad enough time to work off congestion.

“Union Pacific is experiencing heavy ingates at Denver in addition to heavy inbounds by rail, constraining Union Pacific's ability to unload inbound rail traffic,” the railroad’s June 6 advisory says.

Ingates in Denver were suspended from 12:01 a.m. June 7 through 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

“More frequency is good. It makes the service more usable, and it’s a customer friendly move,” says intermodal analyst Larry Gross. “If you’re announcing an embargo because you can’t clear out the volume, that’s not good. This is an obvious solution.”

The service increase out of Denver and Salt Lake builds upon a larger move UP began in January, when more of its intermodal trains began running on daily schedules instead of operating five or six days per week.

Those changes were designed to keep UP’s locomotives, crews, and intermodal cars in balance and avoid costly repositioning moves. Running the same number of trains in each direction each day is a key element of UP’s new operating plan.

Separately, UP has pruned hundreds of low-volume intermodal lanes on its system and between destinations on UP and points on CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern.

The goal of those changes has been to simplify the network and concentrate on steel wheel interchange in Chicago and Memphis.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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