‘Union Pacific Railroad’s Betrayal of Small-Town America’ — A Response

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A replica of the Union Pacific Railroad’s historic Number 119 steam engine at Golden Spike National Historic Park in Promontory, Utah, May 7, 2019. (Terray Sylvester/Reuters)

We are writing in response to the piece titled “Union Pacific Railroad’s Betrayal of Small-Town America,” published on May 5, 2020, which presented a highly distorted version of our actions in Palestine, Texas.

Like every railroad—and indeed every company—we are constantly modernizing our operations. This helps us continue to provide safe, reliable, efficient, and innovative service, and it benefits the entire economy. It is unreasonable to expect us to abide by arrangements made nearly 150-years ago.

We are seeking to terminate the 1872 arrangement to have the ability to make viable business choices for the 21st-century economy. While we were compelled to take legal action, we would prefer to work with the City of Palestine and Andersen County to find a solution. Union Pacific has worked with these communities to identify other ways for the railroad to support local growth and development. In return, we asked the City and County to set aside a 19th-century arrangement so Union Pacific can ensure our Palestine operations match up with the modern economy.

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—Scott D. Moore is the chief administrative officer of Union Pacific Railroad.

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