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Union Pacific railroad spikes still loose, missing

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Union Pacific railroad spikes still loose, missing

By Justin Schecker. CREATED Feb 18, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Three weeks after 9 On Your Side first exposed unsecured railraod spikes, nothing has changed on the stretch of the Union Pacific track between Houghton and Rita Roads.

Nine On Your Side shared photos and video of the track in question with the Federal Railroad Administration. Based on what federal officials observed, an FRA spokesperson said they plan to send out their own inspectors to take a closer look at the railroad.

Nine on Your Side is still waiting on the results of that inspection.  
 
A 9 On Your side viewer originally sent in a photo showing the spikes not nailed into the ground. 
 
"My concern is that if enough spikes work themselves free the rail could shift out of position and cause a derailment," the viewer, who asked us not to use his name, wrote in an email. 
 
A Union Pacific spokesperson insisted the loose and missing spikes are not a public safety risk. 
 
"In addition, as part of the ongoing track inspection and maintenance procedures, they're going to make sure the spikes are pounded back into the ties during the next routine inspection," Union Pacific spokesperson Calli Hite said in an email.  
 
More than three weeks since 9 On Your Side contacted Union Pacific, spikes are still missing and sticking out of the ground near the Rita Road crossing.
 
Nine on Your Side continued its investigation by checking out another stretch of the track, the curve next to TEP's power plant near the Alvernon I-10 exit. 

The length of the curve appears to be secured by crossties that are actually clamped down into the rail, but just a few steps down 9 On Your Side found more missing and loose spikes that an easily can be pulled out. 

Justin Schecker

Justin Schecker

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Justin Schecker reports for KGUN 9 ON Your Side at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00. He joined KGUN9 in September of 2012 and spent his first year in Tucson covering overnight breaking news for Good Morning Tucson.