College of Business and Economics Poster Presentations


The Infrastructure of Union Pacific Railroads in Idaho

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Scott Lowe


It was our mission to find the costs and benefits of improving Union Pacific Railroads in Idaho. We researched the environmental externalities, positive and negative non-environmental externalities, and the future possibilities of railroad travel. Our research found that railroads in general provide: shipper savings, improved safety, economic advantage to the tax payer, reduced traffic congestion, and reduced highway maintenance expense. The carbon footprint left behind by trains is dramatically lower than all transportation movements. A single Union Pacific train can remove up to 300 trucks annually. Rail fuel efficiency is between 2 and 5.5 times higher than truck fuel efficiency in terms of ton-miles per gallon. We concluded that Union Pacific’s investment towards improving railroads in Idaho yielded more benefits than costs. Rail is consistently shown to be a more efficient and effective mode of transportation

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