Union Pacific Railroad Co. will have 1,729 employees in Utah if several people working in the company's shops in Omaha, Neb., decide to relocate in Salt Lake City.

That word comes from Richard D. Tincher, a U.P. spokesman, who said representatives of the workers will arrive in Salt Lake City Thursday to look over the area. The representatives will report to families of displaced U.P. mechanics to help them decide where they want to relocate.In addition to touring the company shops, the representatives will attend a luncheon Friday when Wm. James Mortimer, chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors and Deseret News publisher, will speak and answer questions about the area. Also scheduled to attend are government and business leaders.

On Saturday, they will be taken on a bus tour of the area, Tincher said. Fred S. Ball, chamber president, has offered to show the people a multi-media presentation about Utah.

Initially, 12 families are scheduled for relocation in Salt Lake City, but that could grow to 20 families once negotiations are completed.

The new families would mean a slight reversal of a decline in UP employment in Utah. In 1986, the company had 1,912 employees, but that declined to 1,717 in 1987. Even though the number of employees dropped, the company's payroll increased to $76.5 million in 1987 from $75.3 million in 1986, Tincher said.

The rise and fall of U.P. employment in Utah is related to the continuing adjustment and reorganization caused by U.P.'s merger with Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1982.

U.P. gained Missouri Pacific's $40 million locomotive mechanical shop in Little Rock, Ark., but U.P. already owned and operated a major mechanical shop in Omaha. Neither facility was being used to capacity and because the 75-year-old shop in Omaha would have required $7 million for remodeling, U.P. officials decided to close it and relocate the mechanics elsewhere.

Most of the employees will go to Little Rock, but some will come to Salt Lake City and others going to smaller shops in Pocatello, Idaho; North Platte, Neb.; DeSoto, Miss.; and Palestine, Texas.