Union Pacific shutters big shipping center that handled Malheur County onions

The massive warehouse and shipping center in Wallula, Wash., is shutting down, taking away one way Malheur County growers got their onions to market. (Union Pacific photo)

Union Pacific Railroad on Friday shut down its specialty rail shipping facility in Wallula, Wash., that has been a key resource for Malheur County onion producers.

The closure could have implications for plans for the Treasure Valley Reload Center, a local shipping project planned for Nyssa. Malheur County officials had justified the center by saying onion producers could save nearly $2 million a year in shipping costs by dropping their use of the Cold Connect service in Wallula.

The Nyssa reload center, however, is at least two years away from coming on line. That means that the 4,000 truckloads of onions that go from the Treasure Valley area to . . .