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January 19, 2008

Mudslide Severs Cascade Line

The January mudslide was one of the largest natural disasters ever to affect Union Pacific’s service. Cleanup of this line on the I-5 Corridor required a monumental effort. Over three months, 175 employees worked 12-hour shifts to clear the line and build the new railroad grade. Crews removed 350,000 cubic yards of mud and rock, and brought in another 700,000 tons of rock to restabilize the mountain. On April 5, after a 77-day service outage, the first UP train crossed the slide area.

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A million tons of unsuitable material — very fine silt that could not be used to rebuild the mountain — were removed from the Cascade mudslide site. The material was equal to the weight of about 25 Navy supercarrier ships.

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