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Appeals filed on Mosier project

Wasco County to hear appeals

Because of what Union Pacific officials call a “bottleneck” in the Mosier area, westbound trains are often held at the railroad’s freight yard in The Dalles to wait for the tracks ahead to clear.

Photo by Jesse Burkhardt
Because of what Union Pacific officials call a “bottleneck” in the Mosier area, westbound trains are often held at the railroad’s freight yard in The Dalles to wait for the tracks ahead to clear.



Safety work completed

Union Pacific Railroad has completed its rail fastening system replacement work throughout eight miles of curved track in the Columbia River Gorge. The track throughout the curves has now been secured with a fastening system that includes spikes instead of lag bolts, which enhances the ability for inspectors to detect defects during track inspections.

The lag bolts were determined to be partly to blame for the June 3 derailment of a westbound oil train at Mosier.

“We have a clear focus — to safely operate our trains and protect our communities,” said Wes Lujan, Union Pacific vice president of public affairs for the railroad’s western region. “The fastening system replacement reinforces our commitment to rail safety in the gorge as we strive to improve upon our 99.98 percent hazardous materials safety record and achieve our goal of zero incidents.”

Following the Wasco County Planning Commission’s recent 5-2 decision to approve Union Pacific Railroad’s proposed double-tracking project in Mosier, three appeals have been filed — including one from the railroad itself...

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