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Unsecured train track spikes spotted near Rita Ranch

Justin Schecker

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Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Unsecured train track spikes spotted near Rita Ranch

By Justin Schecker. CREATED Jan 27, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Train track spikes sticking out of the ground: a public safety concern or simple sign of wear and tear?  

A 9 On Your Side viewer from Rita Ranch contacted us and sent us a photo showing spikes sticking out and not nailed into the ground on a stretch of Union Pacific railroad in between Houghton and Rita roads. 

"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. 
 
According to Union Pacific spokesperson Calli Hite, operations officials checked the stretch of tracks as recently as last Thursday. They say there's no immediate risk to public safety and a change in moisture can cause them to shift underground.  
 
"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," Hite said in email. 
 
Hite did not specify in the email when that next inspection is scheduled.  
 
Nine on Your Side showed other cyclists who bike along the dirt road next to the track the viewer's photo.  
 
"Does it concern you?" 9 On Your Side asked cyclist Jeremy Pense. 
 
"Absolutely, I think not just for our safety riding bikes but anybody's safety," he said. "The people who are driving the trains, anybody who walks this area frequently, for people who live out here." 

"That's the last thing we'd like to see, a spill out here where we got to worry about people walking kids, animals, dogs, the environment too," said cyclist William Ayup. 

If you encounter a safety concern about the Union Pacific railroad near you, the number to call is 800-848-8715. In case of an emergency, you can contact the Response Management Communication Center at 888-UPRR-COP (888-877-7267). 

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.