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Rail News: Union Pacific Railroad

UP settles rights-of-way lease dispute with Texas town

The city of Round Rock, Texas, last week approved a settlement agreement with Union Pacific Railroad regarding rights of way along McNeil Road inside the city limits.
About two years ago, UP sent city officials a notice that the railroad would require $4.9 million for Round Rock to continue leasing rights of way along McNeil Road from the Class I for the next 25 years. The city’s previous 25-year lease cost about $2,500, Round Rock officials said in a press release.
Under the agreement, the city will purchase the right of way and three additional tracts from UP for $1.6 million, and the railroad will drop a lawsuit and donate $100,000 to a bus crash memorial the city is developing. UP also agreed to expedite the review and approval of quiet zones the city has been pursuing for more than five years.

"This truly is a win-win for the city and Union Pacific. The amount of money the city will pay to purchase the property as opposed to leasing it is significant, and this settles once and for all a number of land title issues that have been in question for years," said City Attorney Steve Sheets.

Round Rock plans to construct a fence along the UP right of way to discourage children from crossing the tracks to get to Lake Creek Park and to establish a street boundary.

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More News from 4/2/2014