Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Railroad Traffic between OKC, El Reno Increases

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Railroad Traffic between OKC, El Reno Increases

Article excerpt

Traffic along Union Pacific's railroad track between Oklahoma City and El Reno has doubled within the last few months, spokesman John Greenlee said.

Greenlee said drivers should be aware of the increased railroad traffic, since it means that trains will be coming through local at- grade railroad crossings twice as often as before.

"We just want people to be more aware of our increased traffic, as a safety issue," said Greenlee, manager of the Union Pacific railroad yard at NE 10th and Sooner Road. "We're increasing to about six trains per day" along the El Reno line.

The increased traffic is the result of a multimillion-dollar contract with General Motors to transport vehicles from the Oklahoma City plant to 23 states, he said.

While the contract with GM was signed more than a year ago, up until September 2002 Union Pacific was operating out of a temporary railroad yard just south of the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. Just before the State Fair opened last September, Union Pacific moved to its new location at Sooner Road.

Along with constructing the new rail yard, Union Pacific installed additional track from the new yard and the existing Harder yard, near downtown Oklahoma City, to El Reno. El Reno is a major hub for Union Pacific, Greenlee said. From there, railroad tracks extend toward all four points of the compass.

Shipping declines

Barge shipping at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa declined in November. A total of 134,000 tons of inbound and outbound cargo in 84 barges passed the port's docks last month, down from 190,000 tons in 110 barges a year ago. It was also down from October's 194,000 tons in 113 barges.

"Inbound steel and pipe were unusually strong last month, and November showed a return to more normal levels," said Jerry Goodwin, chairman of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority. "Fertilizer declined in accordance with seasonal demand, while outbound wheat shipments increased.

"Other commodities normally shipped through the port showed a mixture of ups and downs, but not to a degree that would signify a trend. …

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