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Santa Teresa rail yard opens early

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- Hundreds of trucks have been passing through Santa Teresa over the past week because the rail yard there is now up and running.

The 2200-acre intermodal facility opened quietly last week, months ahead of schedule.

The facility handles freight trains loaded with containers from Asia and the West Coast.

After the goods are unloaded, they will be transported across the U.S. and Mexico from the new rail yard.

The goods that are transported include consumer products, furniture, automotive and aviation products, and ingredients to make foods, such as fructose and sucrose.

Jerry Pacheco, VP and founder of the Border Industrial Association, said the opening took many people by surprise.

"We had no idea, even last year, that they were going to be ahead of schedule," Pacheco said. "But the economy is doing well, and Im sure they probably wanted to get this project up and running as soon as possible."

Pacheco said the rail yard is bringing 600 permanent jobs to the area that are decent paying jobs.

He said the jobs will consist of working in the command center, the diesel refueling station and intermodal yards.

But with the early opening, Pacheco said there are challenges they are already facing.

"One thing we're trying to get a handle on is all the new traffic," Pacheco said. "We're expecting between 500 and 800 trucks a day."

He added that many roads in the area are not up to par for the new traffic.

"It is a scramble to go get capital outlay to make sure that we can keep all of our infrastructure ahead of development, that's a challenge," Pacheco said.

But overall, Pacheco said he can't complain about it too much.

"It's creating a lot of opportunities for us here," Pacheco said. "It's a good problem to have."

Pacheco said Union Pacific still has job openings for the rail yard.

For more information on how to apply, go to their website at www.up.com.

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