August 24, 2023 - TRA Newswire -

While the state suffered through another week of 100+ degree days, the raging heat was broken by an unlikely visitor. Tropical Storm Harold visited parts of South Texas Tuesday and resulted in flooding conditions that impacted parts of some rail lines.

Harold reached tropical storm strength on Tuesday along the Texas Gulf Coast, making landfall on Padre Island, centered about 15 miles east of Laredo. A tropical storm warning was issued for parts of the Rio Grande Valley and the Corpus Christi area experienced high winds and heavy rainfall.

Union Pacific Railroad reported that a five-mile stretch of track was underwater in Corpus Christi due to flooding.

The line remained out of service until the water receded and the track could be inspected. UP reported that the line reopened today. Measures taken in advance of the storm include staging generators, rail ballast and panels, additional diesel fuel, and supplemental transportation for crews, according to Union Pacific.

The storm brought much-needed moisture to the drought-stricken state but also brought the threat of tornadoes and flash flooding.

Union Pacific suffered a major rail line outage in California as a result of Tropical Storm Hilary. Service to shippers had been affected on the transcontinental Sunset route, with one of two tracks restored today between Banning and Indio, California on the Yuma subdivision. A bridge outage and corresponding track work will take about two weeks to repair and restore full service.

The railroad will be working through a backlog of trains between California and Texas. Other outages occurred near Mojave and north of Fontana, California and service has now been restored. 

For safety purposes, these line segments will have temporary slow order speed restrictions placed upon them. We will also need to re-align locomotive power and crews to the region and customers should expect extended delays through the week.

Photo credit: Accuweather