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Union Pacific Railroad plans to close its Burnham Shop repair yard in Denver in February 2016, the Class I confirmed yesterday.The closing is primarily in reaction to the declining coal business in Colorado, and is part of UP's ongoing efforts to adjust its operations and facilities based on evolving customer needs, a UP spokeswoman said in an email."Specifically, the well-documented decline in the the coal carloadings in Colorado — a result of natural gas prices and regulatory pressure — has diminished the need for locomotive repairs and overhauls in the Denver area," said Calli Hite, UP's director of corporate relations and media. "Loaded coal trains originating in Colorado have decreased 80 percent since 2005."The railroad is working with its unions on arrangements for Burnham shop employees to transfer to other UP shops, Hite said. Work being done at Burnham — locomotive maintenance, repairs and overhauls — will be moved primarily to locations in North Platte and South Morrill, Neb., as well as Little Rock, Ark.UP employs about 300 people total at the Burnham location and the nearby North Yard Shop. About 90 employees will continue to operate the North Yard Shop, which services locomotives. Many of the remaining 200 employees will have an opportunity to relocate to other UP shops based on negotiated labor agreements, Hite said.The railroad plans to put the 70-acre Burnham property up for sale. It's located in an area experiencing urban redevelopment, Hite said.
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