SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — A sprawling, $400 million railroad hub opened Wednesday in southern New Mexico with the promise of transforming the border area into an international industrial trade zone.
The hub is one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is expected to spur development on both sides of the border with Mexico. Tax breaks and other factors have prompted more than 50 companies to move to the area in recent years.
Because the area has been designated a foreign trade zone, freight from overseas can be loaded directly onto trains from West Coast ports for processing and shipment to Mexican factories and for distribution by rail across the U.S.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and her Mexican counterpart Cesar Duarte, the governor of Chihuahua, Mexico, were among the officials on hand for the ceremony that opened the Union Pacific project almost a year early.
"This not only brings freight," U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said referring to the locomotives and freight cars that served as a backdrop to the ceremony. "This brings new businesses, new jobs, new hope. This is a new chapter in southern New Mexico."
The hub spans 2,200 acres and includes fueling facilities and crew-change buildings. It's located minutes away from the Santa Teresa Port of Entry, which was recently upgraded to handle commercial traffic from industrial parks in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
By the time the hub reaches capacity in 2025, it will provide hundreds of permanent jobs — a much-needed boost as federal statistics show New Mexico continues to trail the rest of the U.S. in job growth, despite an oil and gas boom in southeastern New Mexico.
Continue reading this story on the...