Union Pacific Railroad has begun construction on its $550m Brazos Yard in Robertson County, Texas.
With a capacity to switch up to 1,300 rail cars per day, the Brazos Yard will be one of the highest capacity yards on Union Pacific’s 23-state network.
The yard is expected to be completed in 2020 and will showcase best practices in operating efficiency, technology and innovation.
Union Pacific said that this is the largest capital investment in a single facility by the company in its 155-year history.
Brazos Yard will be operated as a classification yard where rail cars are separated and sorted by destination before being assembled into new trains headed across the country.
The site is located at the convergence of seven Union Pacific rail lines, making it a strategic point for freight rail traffic travelling north, south, east, and west.
Brazos Yard will support Union Pacific’s customers representing a variety of economic drivers across Texas, including cross-border traffic, petrochemicals, consumer goods and plastics.
The project is expected to create 550 construction-related jobs for people from the immediate area and from across Texas.
According to a study by Engineering Extension Service of Texas A&M University, the yard will contribute almost $260m in annual total output for the state of Texas.
Union Pacific chairman, president and CEO Lance Fritz said: “Brazos Yard will play an important role in helping Union Pacific’s men and women provide excellent service to our customers that represent a wide variety of economic drivers.
“It also will improve efficiency and fluidity across our entire rail network.”
Union Pacific public affairs assistant vice-president Brenda Mainwaring said: “This project has been an important part of Union Pacific’s planning for several years as we’ve monitored customer demand and economic growth across the region.
“Based on current demand and building for future freight transportation needs, Union Pacific is making our largest capital investment in the Texas Brazos Valley.”