Union Pacific expands capacity at southern New Mexico industrial hub

Border Report

Boxcar transfer is key to delivery of components manufactured in Mexico to markets in West, Midwest, industry official says

SANTA TERESA, New Mexico (Border Report) — The railroad infrastructure in the sprawling Santa Teresa industrial complex is getting a boost this year.

Union Pacific Railroad is investing $20 million to increase capacity at its Santa Teresa Intermodal Terminal and Refueling Station. The company is building a new block-swap yard that will allow it to add container blocks to passing trains faster and more efficiently, UP said in a news release.

“We are growing our presence in New Mexico because New Mexico is a great partner,” said Ivan Jaime, senior director of public affairs for Union Pacific. “We anticipate this investment will have a positive economic impact in southern New Mexico.”

Union Pacific operates 618 miles of track in New Mexico. The rail line that heads north out of Santa Teresa and through Tucumcari is part of a route connecting Southern California and the Midwest.

Containers at Union Pacifics’s intermodal station in Santa Teresa, N.M. (photo by Julian Resendiz/Border Report)

Union Pacific serves a number of customers in New Mexico, with auto parts and minerals as the most prevalent commodities shipped and received, the company said.

“There’s activity here all the time, 24-7 because those trains don’t stop. All day long they’re running,” said Jerry Pacheco, president and CEO of the Santa Teresa-based Border Industrial Association.

Pacheco said Union Pacific and the intermodal terminal are key to the growing economic activity in southern New Mexico.

“A lot of these trains go, say, to Fort Worth, drop off 20 cars, go to Dallas, drop off another 30 cars and then go on to deliver the rest,” Pacheco said during a recent Border Report interview.

He said the block-swap yard serves, among others, the maquiladora operations in San Jeronimo, Mexico, across the border from Santa Teresa.

“We bring a lot of component here, but we make more than we bring because of what goes on south of the border. That means UP has to bring containers from all over the country in order for us to have sufficient containers,” Pacheco said.

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