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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UP to move over-sized wind-turbine parts, speed Texas trains


On March 6, Union Pacific Railroad began operating the first of seven 50-car trains that will move 135-foot wind turbine blades and other electrical equipment from Houston to Sacramento, Calif., via the railroad's Sunset Route through El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Colton and Tehachapi Pass, Calif.; and Sacramento.

The wind-turbine parts are shipped from Denmark to the Port of Houston, then loaded on special rail cars. Trains will include buffer cars on each end to accommodate overhanging blades.

The parts will enable Vestas American Wind Technology Inc. to install 81 200-foot tall turbine towers, which are designed to generate electricity for about 45,000 Sacramento-area homes. UP expects to operate the last train in early May.

Meanwhile, the Class I plans to increase train speed through Sinton, Texas, from 25 mph to 50 mph by March 24.

On March 10, UP will increase speed 5 mph, followed by 10-mph boosts March 17 and 24.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/7/2003