After enduring two years of unused railroad cars being stored on tracks adjacent to Kennefick Road, about 200 of them have been removed because of an increased demand for them to carry lumber and steel.
Union Pacific Railroad has 282 rail cars remaining in the Acampo area, according to spokesman Aaron Hunt.
"We don't have any projections as to when the cars will be moved," Hunt said in an email. "Our use of rail cars is tied to that of our customers as they ship freight around the country."
Business has picked up significantly this year, according to Union Pacific's corporate office in Omaha, Neb. In the first three months of 2011, the railroad's business grew 5 percent from last year.
Some 500 railroad cars were stored since early 2009 from the Mokelumne River north to Dry Creek, causing residents in rural eastern Acampo to become concerned that unsightly graffiti would be spray painted on the railroad cars and that homeless people might begin sleeping on the cars.
However, as it turned out, the railroad cars, while filled with graffiti, contained more artistic designs, according to Bill Brown, who lives on Kennefick between Woodbridge and Acampo roads.
"The people I talk to, they don't complain any more," Brown said. "The majority of the graffiti — that was really nice. It kind of helped the view."
One car has a peace sign painted on it; others have artwork rather than gang symbols.
Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the railroad cars, removed about 60 of them at the southern end of Acampo near Woodbridge Winery more than a month ago, according to Dave Buccolo, general manager of Central California Traction, which owns the tracks through Acampo.
Stockton-based Central California Traction provides freight service five days a week from Stockton to Pacific Coast Producers and other companies in Lodi's industrial area east of Highway 99. The traction line also goes west to the Port of Stockton.
The company was originally a second streetcar line for Stockton in 1905. Electric passenger train service from Stockton to Lodi began in 1907 in competition with Southern Pacific Railroad. Three years later, the line reached Sacramento.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.