September 23, 2023 - TRA Newswire - A rail embargo at the Union Pacific Eagle Pass, Texas bridge has been lifted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection today, allowing 24 backed-up trains to start moving again.eth Whited survey the railroad bridge in Eagle Pass, Texas
The humanitarian border crisis prompted a shutdown of rail traffic after illegal stowaways on freight cars resulted in six deaths and serious injuries earlier in the week, as reported by Mexican railroad company Ferromex.
Union Pacific CEO Jim Vena, President Beth Whited, Executive Vice-President and CFO Jennifer Hamann and others traveled to Eagle Pass to understand the migrant crisis firsthand, understand its impact and identify ways to get trains moving again.
Twenty-four trains spanning 168,700 feet, including about 2,400 cars weighing a total of 240,000 tons, are being held on the north and southbound sides of the border. The business mix at the interchange includes agricultural, food and beverage products, automotive vehicles, consumer goods, and other industrial commodities. Given the closure, the company issued an embargo earlier this week and notified customers. Union Pacific’s five other gateways remain open; however, they cannot handle the additional traffic from this crisis.
According to a Union Pacific news release, "seeing and hearing the depth of this humanitarian crisis firsthand – vs. watching from thousands of miles away – was sobering. When they arrived at the border crossing rail bridge, the team witnessed a family of three attempting to cross. The mother had a small baby in her arms and fell into the razor wire, and a man was swimming across the river with a child on his back – the scene was heartbreaking to witness."