Union Pacific Increases Train Speed Through Bryan

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

Get your radar guns ready, as of February 1 the Union Pacific trains that travel through the city of Bryan are increasing their speed from 10 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. That's a 150 percent increase and Mayor Ernie Wentrcek says that's too fast.

"Even at 10 mph we had concerns in the past of perhaps dangerous materials coming through, at 25 mph our concerns are enhanced," said Mayor Ernie Wentrcek, Bryan.

Wentrcek says he had no idea the change was coming. Last week he got a letter from Union Pacific stating there would be a change. He is forwarding the letter to the city attorney, but he's not confident there's anything they can do.

"The railroads pretty much have control of the railroads and the cities really have very little say as to what they do on the railroad," said Wentrcek.

But Chief Mike Donoho with the Bryan Fire Department says the increased speed could be a good thing because it will decrease their wait time when responding to an emergency.

"Occasionally, we do get blocked by a train as we are responding to an emergency. If the trains are passing trough the crossways quicker, that will get us to the emergency quicker," said Mike Donoho, Bryan Fire Chief.

Union Pacific says the change will improve traffic flow. An argument echoed by several motorists.

"We all know that the trains are there and they've got pretty good lights and those bars that go down," said Maryann Montoya, local resident.

"It'll be alright with me, it's less waiting if they go through faster," said Tom Kyle, local motorists.

And that's good, if you wait. But if you're one of the risk-taking, law-breaking motorists who don't, your odds of beating the train are about to be drastically reduced.


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