The Union Pacific Fruit Express said carloadings of fresh and frozen produce increased 8 percent in 1987 to 41,347 loadings.
The record-level traffic prompted the Union Pacific Railroad to launch a $33 million repair and leasing program to increase its locomotive and car fleet to handle the loads.Jerry Habraken, UP's assistant vice president for intermodal and refrigeration service, said the railroad will refurbish 280 refrigerated cars to bring them up to standards for hauling food products.
The work will be done at the railroad's repair shop at Pocatello, Idaho.
In addition, the shop in Idaho and one in Palestine, Texas, will refurbish 240 standard boxcars for general merchandise service. And 298 boxcars will be converted for hauling heavy paper loads at a shop in DeSoto, Mo.
UP also is spending $15 million to lease locomotives and to expand the engine maintenance program at various repair shops.
The UP grain car fleet will be expanded after the carrier spent $4 million to extend leases on 964 grain cars.
And UP has ordered 300 new center-beam flatcars for moving lumber. Deliveries of new locomotives ordered over the past two years will continue in 1988.