Freight income was 9% higher in 2014 than 2013 at $US 22.6bn and wagon loadings rose by 7%. The increase in traffic was led by agricultural and industrial products as well as intermodal freight. Operating revenue was $US 2bn higher at a record $US 24bn, while UP's operating ratio improved by 2.6 points to 63.5%.

UP invested a total of $US 4.1bn in 2014, which was around $US 500m more than in 2013.

"Robust volumes challenged our network for much of the year, and we remained focused on adding the necessary resources to safely improve service," says UP's CEO Mr Jack Koraleski.

Looking ahead to 2015, Koraleski is cautiously optimistic: "Overall, the US economy continues to move forward at a moderate pace, but of course, there are always uncertainties. Clearly, one of the biggest uncertainties is the outlook for energy markets, which will bring both challenges and opportunities. We're entering the year well-resourced and we're looking forward to safely providing efficient, value-added service for our customers, and increasing returns for our shareholders in 2015."