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updated: 12/17/2013 4:55 PM

Union Pacific awards 21 public safety grants

West Chicago among recipients of railroad safety initiative

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Rosemary Mackey

West Chicago, Illinois: December 17, 2013 - Union Pacific Railroad has awarded 21 grants to community-owned railroad safety initiatives across its 23-state operating system. Ranging from $500 to $5,000, the grants support initiatives developed by community organizations to enhance and promote railroad safety through activities tailored for their communities.

"Union Pacific developed the grant program to empower communities to be active railroad safety participants," said Bob Grimaila, vice president of Safety, Security and Environment at Union Pacific. "These organizations have taken the initiative to embrace railroad safety and care enough to ensure fellow community members understand how to be safe around railroad tracks."

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Organizations and initiatives receiving Union Pacific safety grant funding include the West Chicago Police Department for rail safety community education, enforcement initiatives and outreach at community festivals.

The grant program is part of the UP CARES public safety initiative that promotes pedestrian and driver safety through a variety of outreach channels:

Grade crossing education and enforcement, during which motorists violating rail crossing signage and laws are educated about the dangers of such actions. Related "positive enforcement" initiatives reward drivers who operate safely at grade crossings.

Safety trains, hosting local law enforcement, media and public officials and providing them the opportunity to ride in the locomotive cab and see traffic violations from a locomotive engineer's point of view. This also allows Union Pacific to connect with community leaders and help them better understand the railroad's safety focus.

Communication blitzes, which educate the public via community events, media outreach and paid advertising. Media outreach coincides with safety trains in UP communities.

For more information about Union Pacific's public safety initiatives, visit UnionPacificCares.com.

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