Where are the trains? UP closes line through Siskiyou until Lava Fire damage is repaired

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald

Feel like something's … off?

If you live in south Siskiyou County, you've likely become accustomed to the whistles and rumbles of Union Pacific Railroad trains on the line that runs through the communities of Dunsmuir, Mount Shasta and Weed.

But since the Lava Fire damaged Dry Canyon Bridge near Hotlum and a yet-undetermined length of track on June 28, Union Pacific closed its line that runs through the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, said Robynn Tysver, a communications manager for the railroad. Since then, the tracks have been eerily silent, aside from some maintenance work that's been happening this week along the line.

The damage is affecting all UP's rail operations between Redding and Eugene, Ore., Tysver said. Freight trains are being diverted over Donner Pass.

Tysver said UP is now focused on repairing both their tracks and the Dry Canyon Bridge, located about five miles northeast of Weed, but there is no timetable for when the work will be done.

Wednesday fire roundup:Lava, Tennant, Tangle, Juniper and Salt fire updates

The Lava Fire burned 25,000 acres around Mt. Shasta and as of Wednesday was 72% contained.

It may be a few more weeks until Siskiyou County residents once again hear train whistles blowing in the night.

Skye Kinkade is the editor of the Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News. She is a fourth generation, lifelong Siskiyou County resident.