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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP nearly moves mountain to reopen mud-ravaged Oregon line

After spending 105 days and tens of millions of dollars to remove mud from a line near Oakridge, Ore., Union Pacific Railroad has restored service on the Cascade Mountains corridor.

A mudslide on Jan. 19 had wiped out 3,000 feet of track in three areas, requiring crews to work around the clock to remove 19 million cubic feet of mud, logs and other materials (totaling 1 million tons), and bring in 700,000 tons of rock to rebuild the mountain. The project involved 200 workers and 150 pieces of construction equipment. Each day, the railroad rerouted 15 trains via Bend, Ore., and Salt Lake City, and made 30 round-trips with work trains to haul materials in and out of the work site.

“Our folks did an incredible job. They rolled up their sleeves and made the impossible, possible,” said Bill Van Trump, UP’s assistant vice president of engineering and maintenance — who led work efforts — in a prepared statement.

Crews will continue to perform clean-up tasks, including the installation of a slide fence, until early June.

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More News from 5/7/2008