Union Pacific hires industry veteran to oversee rail reforms

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Union Pacific has hired an industry veteran to lead its efforts to change the way the railroad operates.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad said Monday that it hired longtime Canadian National railroad executive Jim Vena to be its chief operating officer.

Vena will oversee Union Pacific's efforts to implement the scheduled operating model that it began phasing in last year.

The new operating plan is similar to the one CSX has been using successfully. The lean, tightly scheduled model is based on what Canadian Pacific and Canadian National have been doing for years.

The 60-year-old Vena worked at Canadian National for 40 years before retiring in 2016.

Union Pacific operates 32,400 miles of track in 23 western states.