Union Pacific to Get Rid of State Tracks

Article excerpt

TULSA (AP) - Union Pacific Railroad, which joined with Central Pacific Railroad 130 years ago to form the first transcontinental railroad, has proposed to abandon, sell or lease 18 percent of its track in Oklahoma to help increase profits and streamline operations.

The 18 percent of Oklahoma track represents 233 miles. The biggest portion is a 123-mile stretch from Henryetta to Durant.

The restructuring is part of a nationwide reassessment. Union Pacific Corp., the railroad's parent company, recently told stockholders it has offered for bid, entered into sale or lease arrangements or sold 1,809 miles of rail line this year.

The company is considering a plan that would sell or lease some 1,300 miles of additional track next year, officials said.

``We are optimistic we can find a solution from the sale or lease to keep them active,'' said Union Pacific spokesman Alex Tice. ``A lot of lines do not generate sufficient revenue to justify keeping them open. If we can find another railroad that would work the line or rebuild the line with a different type of service structure, they could stay open.''

In addition to the Henryetta-to-Durant line, Union Pacific also proposes to abandon, sell or lease the Bartlesville-to-Coffeyville, Kan., line, which is 32 miles long and was purchased from the Missouri-Kansas-Texas, or Katy, Railroad last year; the 38-mile Barnsdall-to-Tulsa line; and the 40-mile Muskogee-to-Henryetta line. …