Union Pacific Glamis Fencing Project

Union Pacific will finish constructing a fence along its property in the coming weeks in the Glamis, Calif. area. The fence is being installed due to the accumulation of an excessive amount of sand on the tracks which causes excessive wear and tear. This wear and tear could lead to weakening of the track structure which could be attributable to derailments.

“Wash Road” is a private road on Union Pacific property used for railroad maintenance; it is not a public road. It was never intended to serve as access for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recreational area.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is a fence being built in Glamis?
    The fence is being installed due to the accumulation of an excessive amount of sand on the tracks which causes excessive wear and tear on the tracks. This wear and tear could lead to weakening of the track structure which could be attributable to derailments.
  • Does this mean the Glamis recreational area is closed?
    No. This simply means that the private railroad property is off limits. Individuals should make plans to start using alternate routes.
  • How should we access the Imperial Valley Recreational area?
    Please contact the BLM for information on how access the area.
  • Will there be some access to Wash Road?
    The fence is expected to be completed in the next couple of weeks. Please start making alternate route plans now.
  • Why is the fence being placed only where the current camping areas are located?
    The fence is being placed at this location because this is the area of highest sand accumulation. We are not experiencing sand issues on the track where OHVs are restricted. It is at the areas where camping is allowed, and most of the OHV activity takes place, that we are having these issues because OHVs kick up the sand that then is deposited on railroad tracks.
  • How long will this fence be there?
    The fence will be a permanent fixture for the track erosion issues that have been mentioned. If at some point, the BLM decides to return this land back to its original state, we would be able to remove the fence.
  • How will this fence stop sand from getting on the tracks? Should it be placed closer to the tracks?
    The placement of the fence will result in a deposit of sand immediately downwind from the fence. Placing the fence any closer would result in sand accumulating on the track itself causing a safety problem.
  • Has there ever been an accident in this area caused by sand accumulation on railroad tracks?
    There have not been any derailments caused by sand in the area because of our Company’s diligence in maintaining the track consistently. However, because of the excessive accumulation of sand, we have decided to take this additional step.

    Our track is inspected twice each week and when conditions are found that would result in a derailment, they are repaired. Fouled ballast is a Federal Railroad Administration track safety defect.

    The FRA Web site is also a good resource to learn more about track structure and maintenance.