Private investor contributes over $23M to New Mexico railroads

CARRIZOZO, N.M. (KRQE) – A railroad company is making a major investment in New Mexico. It’s fixing up the rail lines to make sure cargo makes it in and out of the state quickly — and safely.

Improving railroad tracks comes at a cost.

“We do this work so that the tracks can stay firm and more stable so the trains can run on them,” said Jeff DeGraff, Union Pacific Director of Corporate Relations and Media.

Union Pacific has invested more than $23 million this year to improve the rail line in New Mexico, installing more than 55,000 tons of rock ballast and replacing more than 116,000 railroad ties.

“This will help us stay ahead of problems and maintain efficiency so that we can deliver good customer service and also be responsible members of the community,” DeGraff said.

The railroad has long been a vital part of the state, dating back to the late 1800’s. Today, it still employs thousands in New Mexico. Residents are happy to see the investment.

“I think it’s good for a couple of things. I think the railroad is important for the transport of cargo and a lot of commerce in the country and a lot of it goes through New Mexico,” said Robert Lucero, Carrizozo resident.

The biggest part of this project is in on the tracks between Carrizozo and Fort Bliss.

“Most people don’t even realize how important the railroads are,” said Carrizozo resident, Joseph Sullivan.

The company’s goal is to increase safety and efficiency without having to use taxpayer dollars because every penny comes from private investment.

“I think it’s a good thing because the government only has so much money and a private investor can add so much more of his personal touches. The government is only going to do so much,” said Victor Padilla, Los Cruces resident.

Union Pacific has more than 600 miles of track in New Mexico. Among the materials they transport are road materials, building materials, auto parts and general household items.

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