Editor's Note: The following is a joint-letter from Anderson County and Palestine officials to Union Pacific Railroad in response to the railroad's attempt to abrogate its 150-year contract with the city.
The City of Palestine and Anderson County have responded to the unfortunate ligation by Union Pacific Railroad Company, attempting to avoid its contractual obligations to the citizens of Palestine and Anderson County. Palestine and Anderson County have provided significant support to Union Pacific for many years. The current Agreement has been effective since 1954. This partnership has been beneficial for both the railroad and our citizens. As recently as 2019, the railroad asserted that it would continue to honor this Agreement and requested continued assistance from the city and county to improve its operations. The city and county have relied upon these promises and commitments, assuming that Union Pacific would continue as a good-faith, honorable corporate citizen.
Instead, Union Pacific has sought to unilaterally withdraw from its commitments. It has petitioned the federal court to approve this proposed default of its Agreement. Palestine and Anderson County will not capitulate to this unsupported, unwarranted action. The city and county will vigorously defend the Agreement in the courts. We earnestly request that Union Pacific withdraw its litigation and return to its prior status as a productive, beneficial partner with Palestine and Anderson County.