Union Pacific Completes New Mexico Siding Project

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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Union Pacific

At RT&S, we like to highlight construction projects and milestones whenever possible. Union Pacific recently announced the completion of a siding extension in New Mexico.

[At the end of] 2022, Union Pacific will [have] invested around $3.4 billion in capital – much of which [will have gone] toward hardening the railroad’s infrastructure and increasing capacity through siding extensions like the one Engineering Construction Team 8460 recently completed in Oscuro, New Mexico.

Fifteen team members have been hard at work on the Carrizozo Subdivision since July, supporting Union Pacific’s growth strategy by extending the Oscuro siding by 5,550 feet and adding a set-out track to accommodate longer trains. This Heartland Service Unit main line stretch connects the border city of El Paso, Texas, with the major industrial and commercial hub of Kansas City.

Engineering Construction Team 8460 worked injury-free throughout the Oscuro, New Mexico, siding extension project – adding to the team’s more than one-and-a-half year injury-free record. (Courtesy Union Pacific)

“This project benefits Union Pacific and our customers,” said Ray Johnson, manager-Track Construction. “Longer sidings allow us to decrease or eliminate train meets, reducing main line congestion and delays.” 

By the Numbers: Oscuro Siding Extension Stats

  • 91 injury-free days to construct and place into service.
  • Two No. 11 jump frog switches installed.
  • One No. 15 switch installed.
  • 1,646-foot set-out track constructed.
  • 5,550-feet of new track constructed.

“The extended siding will help train crews move traffic more fluidly along this territory’s long grade,” said Gerald Carpenter, manager-Track Construction.

Read more articles about track construction.

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