Union Pacific Railroad is undertaking a $20 million project to add an additional block swap yard at its 5-year-old intermodal terminal and refueling station in Santa Teresa just outside El Paso.

The new yard will allow Union Pacific to add container blocks to passing trains faster and more efficiently, reducing down time for merchandise transported along the 760-mile Sunset Corridor between El Paso and Los Angeles, the company reported in a news release.

Union Pacific opened the 2,220-acre intermodal facility in Santa Teresa in 2004 to transfer containers from trucks from Mexico onto trains distributing goods among the 23 states Union Pacific services. Santa Teresa is one of 23 intermodal facilities for Union Pacific, but nearest facilities outside New Mexico are in Denver and Tucson, Ariz.

Union Pacific has a payroll of $49 million with more than 500 New Mexico employees in places such as Santa Teresa, Lordsburg, Deming, Alamogordo, Vaughn and Tucumcari.