Commentary, Issues

UP’s Premium Corridor: Coast Starlight Improvements on the Way?

Commentary by Jarrod DellaChiesa
Director, RailPAC / Project Coordinator, Coast Starlight Communities Network

Union Pacific is investing $12,900,000 in track improvements to their Coast Line this month.  The right-of-way between Watsonville and San Lucas is a 76-mile long staging area, with more than 82,000 railroad ties waiting to be installed, along with new rail and 42,000 tons of ballast.

Union Pacific is now calling the Coast Line a “premium rail corridor”.  But what do they mean by that?  Will the track be upgraded to 79 MPH for the Coast Starlight?  Will this, combined with the track work in Southern California and on the BNSF up north, finally allow for time to be removed with the May schedule change?  It looks like more of the Coast Starlight Communities Network’s plan for the route will soon come to life.

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