West Coast rail lines experience storm-related delays

by Canadian Shipper

Some rail services from the Los Angeles area could be disrupted for more than two weeks, hampering freight movements due to the extensive damage from the storms that hit California and Nevada recently, say Union Pacific representatives.

The rail company estimated that the damage had reduced its capacity between the Los Angeles Basin and points farther east by about one third, reports schednet.com.

Two of the five main routes in and out of the Los Angeles Basin remain closed, while its Sunset route between Los Angeles and El Paso, Texas, is now open and operating at capacity.

According to a railway statement, the coastal route that runs north from Los Angeles to Oakland is cut in several places with debris from mudslides, and ocean tides eroded track support at other points.

The company does not know when this line can reopen.

A huge mudslide at La Conchita is just above the rail line which normally handles about eight freight trains each day and a number of Amtrak and Metrolink trains as well.

Union Pacific has brought in additional managers and crews from other locations so that work can continue 24 hours a day to restore critical rail service, says the railway.

The company said it had instituted embargoes to restrict traffic to and from a significant portion of its service area in California and around Las Vegas, and was working with its customers to ensure that critical shipments, where public health and safety is involved, will get priority handling.

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