Study Begins For Proposed Union Pacific Railroad Yard Near Picacho Peak
A year-long study has started for a proposed Union Pacific Railroad switch yard near Picacho Peak. The project includes the construction of multiple train tracks and commercial warehouses next to Interstate Ten between Phoenix and Tucson.
Union Pacific wants to purchase 950 acres of state trust land for the so-called “Red Rock” switch yard for freight trains moving between Los Angeles and El Paso.
Republican State Senator Bob Worsley of Mesa helped organize the study that includes Union Pacific representatives, Pinal County and the state land department.
"We like the project because it would create several hundred jobs and create new opportunities for folks who may want to build industry around that freight that’s coming here and getting handled here" Worsley said.
Last year, Pinal County Supervisors voted to endorse the project and they are asking Governor Jan Brewer to allow the auction of the state trust land.
But, some environmentalists oppose the switch yard. They say idling diesel trains would create air pollution and infringe on the natural beauty of Picacho Peak State Park a few miles away.