November 4, 2011
Gov. Nixon, Union Pacific leaders on hand as UP employees unveil new AutoFlex rail car, designed and built in De Soto
DE SOTO, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon and leaders of Union Pacific were joined by local officials today in De Soto as Union Pacific unveiled its new AutoFlex rail car, built and designed at the company's De Soto facility. More than 200 Union Pacific employees also were on hand as the new convertible, multi-level rail car was rolled out.
De Soto is the hometown of Gov. Nixon, and he said the new car demonstrated Missouri's strength in manufacturing and innovation.
"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."
"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," Union Pacific Chairman and CEO Jim Young said in a statement. "Today marks yet another day when Union Pacific employees showed great ingenuity to provide our customers ever-better service. I am very proud of what they achieved."
The 90-foot long AutoFlex can be easily transformed from two to three decks, based on the vehicle shipment needs of the customer. Smaller vehicles would be transported on three decks, and large vehicles on two. Traditional vehicle-carrying rail cars have either two or three decks and cannot be converted from one to another. The new rail car also carries more safety and security features than traditional rail cars of that type.
Union Pacific expects to build 100 AutoFlex rail cars in De Soto in 2011, and an additional 200 or more in 2012. The company first announced the new rail car project in August 2010.