Union Pacific Railroad is investing more than $22 million in the rail line that runs between O’Fallon's crossing (east of Sutherland) and the Wyoming border.
The project is in progress and is scheduled to be completed by mid-October, the company said Thursday in a prepared statement.
The 150-mile project includes:
• Replacing about one mile of rail in various curves.
• Installing 16 miles of new rail,
• Renewing the surfaces at 93 road crossings.
• Replacing 93,400 ties
• Spreading 44,000 tons of rock ballast to help provide a more stable roadbed.
Union Pacific plans to invest $3.6 billion in its rail network during 2012, enhancing the safety and efficiency of the 32,000-mile network.
Union Pacific spends more on capital and maintenance improvements than the infrastructure spending of the state highway departments in 46 states, the company said.
Improved and additional rail capacity allows freight rail service to grow, contributing to a cleaner environment.
Union Pacific says it can move a ton of freight nearly 500 miles on a single gallon of diesel fuel, and, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, freight trains are nearly four times more fuel efficient than trucks.
Motorists also benefit from reduced congestion on highways as a single Union Pacific train equates to as many as 300 trucks.
Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act 150 years ago, creating the original Union Pacific.
Today, Union Pacific Railroad links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, the company said.