Union Pacific to build New Mexico railroad terminal facility
Union Pacific Corp. and the State of New Mexico have reached agreement to build a 934-acre railroad terminal facility at Strauss, N.M., at a cost of $150 million.
The project will include a main line locomotive fueling station, a train inspection area and a rail yard. In addition, Union Pacific has also agreed to begin construction of a new intermodal ramp no later than 2015. Once operational, the ramp is expected to process a minimum of 100,000 container units annually.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has committed $5 million to improve a county road connecting the Pete Domenici Highway in Santa Teresa with the new facility.
The new facility would be constructed on land currently held by the federal Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico State Land Office. The process for Union Pacific to acquire the property could take up to 18 months, with construction beginning sometime in 2008 and an anticipated completion of the facility before the end of 2010.
New Mexico’s gross receipt and compensating tax for locomotive fuel must be removed by July 1, 2009 as a condition for building the facility.
“This proposed facility will enable us to improve efficiency and expand our operations in the southern New Mexico/western Texas region, which is a part of our critical Sunset Corridor,” said Union Pacific Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Young.
The new terminal is expected to create 285 jobs with 205 new engineers or conductors and 80 mechanical employees that fuel or inspect trains.
The railroad confirmed that none of the existing facilities in El Paso would be closed, although certain functions such as fueling, inspections and crew change activities would be transferred to the proposed Strauss facility. “The facility in El Paso is currently at capacity and traffic is expected to continue to grow,” Union Pacific said.