A Port In The Desert

By Bill Hume / For the Journal on Mon, Jun 27, 2011

SUNLAND PARK – Santa Teresa “will become a key inland port in the United States” when Union Pacific Railroad’s massive $500 million refueling and intermodal yard is completed there in five years, according to Zoe Richmond, UP’s director of public affairs for Arizona and New Mexico.

“Think of it as a chicken coop for trains,” Richmond said.

It will be a major refueling, crew change, switch yard and intermodal ramp for UP’s busy Sunset Corridor, from Los Angeles-Long Beach through to Chicago and across the nation.

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NM Gov. Susana Martinez signs Union Pacific tax bill in Santa Teresa

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez spoke Tuesday (April 4th) before signing three bills into law. (Victor Calzada / El Paso Times)

With a stroke of a pen, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday started the wheels rolling for a proposed $400 million Union Pacific rail facility in Santa Teresa.

Martinez, appearing in a Santa Teresa warehouse filled with politicians and area business people, signed recently passed state legislation exempting Union Pacific from paying locomotive fuel tax so the railroad company will develop the new facility.

The locomotive fueling station and intermodal freight yard are expected to create 3,000 jobs during four years of construction and bring 600 permanent jobs, Union Pacific officials have said.

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Legislative Update – Post Mortem

The legislative session ended today at 12 PM. Both the House and the Senate imploded with filibusters on both sides that resulted in no capital outlay projects being funded for anybody in the state – this includez our LEDA Funds. There is talk that a special session will need to take place possibly in August to address the redistricting issue and capital outlay. We may pick up the bulk of our LEDA funds then.

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