Union Pacific Railroad unveils Autoflex Convertible Rail Car production model

Union Pacific Railroad unveils Autoflex Convertible Rail Car production model

Union Pacific Railroad Senior Vice President – Corporate Relations Bob Turner, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, and local officials were on hand today as Union Pacific’s employee-designed and built AutoFlex® rail car was rolled out of the fabrication shop door, to the delight of the more than 200 Union Pacific employees who brought the design to life. The 90-foot long AutoFlex® is a convertible, multi-level rail car that can be easily transformed from two to three decks based on the customer’s vehicle shipment needs.

“Our nearly 150-year existence is due largely to innovations, like the AutoFlex®, that provide value to our customers, keep us competitive, benefit the industry and sustain and grow jobs. Today marks yet another day when Union Pacific employees showed great ingenuity to provide our customers ever-better service. We are very proud of what they achieved,” Turner said.

“The Union Pacific workers in De Soto have, quite literally, kept Missouri and America moving for many decades,” Gov. Nixon said. “The next-generation AutoFlex rail car, designed and built right here, is further proof that the label ‘Made in Missouri’ is a sign of quality and innovation. My congratulations to Union Pacific and the people of De Soto for achieving this milestone in rail transportation.”

The AutoFlex® delivers numerous benefits to Union Pacific auto customers, including:

  The flexibility of three decks to transport small vehicles or two decks to accommodate large vehicles. Traditional vehicle-carrying rail cars have either two or three decks and cannot be converted from one to the other.
  Superior security due to the removal of ladder access to the rail car roof and upper decks. The ladder is accessible only when end doors are open.
  A new end-door design with ladders that allow for safer, more ergonomic access to the rail car’s interior.
  Increased service quality thanks to a proven durable door edge system, improved tie-down chock systems and upgraded in-transit damage protection.

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Union Pacific holds 15 patents related to the design and process that resulted in developing the AutoFlex®. UP employees expect to build 100 AutoFlex® cars in 2011 and are scheduled to build 200, or more, in 2012.

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