Migrant Crisis Brings Down America’s Railroad Network

via newsweek.com

The decision to close bridges to stop smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border is having unwanted impact on the railroad network, rail companies said.

Two international railway crossing bridges in Texas—one in Eagle Pass, which is the second-busiest rail crossing between the two countries, and the other El Paso—were temporarily shut down on Monday after federal authorities reported a surge in the smuggling of migrants through Mexico by train.

Border officials said the bridges were closed “in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said that the operation was being conducted in partnership with Mexican authorities.

But the closure has negatively affected rail companies Union Pacific (UP) and BNSF, which use the bridges, and impacted the 24 trains a day that run across the border at those points, according to The Load Star.

UP told the publication that the closure has stranded nearly 10,000 rail cars on both sides of the border and that it had to embargo bookings on more than 60 trains on every day of the closure.