Railroad crews repairing track, crossings

A Union Pacific Railroad maintenance crew spreads asphalt near the track on Third Street between Sally and East streets Tuesday.

A crew of Union Pacific employees is working on the railroad in
Hollister as part of a maintenance project to upgrade about 12
miles of track in San Benito County.
A crew of Union Pacific employees is working on the railroad in Hollister as part of a maintenance project to upgrade about 12 miles of track in San Benito County.

Approximately 12,000 railroad ties along the line that runs from Gilroy to Hollister will be replaced during the month-long project, which is expected to be completed Nov.1, said Union Pacific spokesman Mike Furtney.

“They’ll also be replacing 22 road crossings,” Furtney said. “We’re happy to say that we’re replacing the crossings as part of our maintenance program.”

The nine-member work crew will be focusing its efforts on road crossings in and around Hollister, including those on Third and Fourth streets, where work was being done Tuesday.

Furtney said the crossings may not have been replaced in as timely a manner as local motorists would have liked, but the line into the county is one of the smallest in Union Pacific’s system.

“We have 35,000 miles of track to maintain,” Furtney said.

Union Pacific operates more than 6,800 locomotives, nearly one-third of all the locomotives on Class One railroads in the U.S. The average age of UP’s freight locomotives is 14.9 years, making the fleet one of the newest of any major railroad.

In Northern California, Union Pacific handles import-export automobile distribution in Milpitas, Fremont, Benicia and Oakland. In Southern California, the railroad serves major automobile distribution centers for Chrysler and Ford in Mira Loma, and for Toyota in Long Beach.

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