“Coal Hard Truth Forum” to discuss coal train impacts

Coal train photo courtesy of Washington Environmental Council.

Washington Environmental Council is holding a “Coal Hard Truth Forum” at Cleveland High School this Wednesday, August 15, to discuss the proposed increase in coal trains through South Seattle if a proposed coal export terminal opens in Bellingham.

According to a press release from the Council, up to 9 open-bed coal trains may be added to the city’s railroad traffic daily, which would result in increased pollution and traffic to neighborhoods along the route, including Georgetown and Beacon Hill. Here at the BHB, we confess that we haven’t yet done as much research on the topic as we’d like, but here are a couple of links to provide more information about the trains:

All interested neighbors are invited to attend the forum to ask questions and discuss the trains’ impact with community members. The event is at Cleveland High School, room 1201 (second floor), 5511 15th Ave. S, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15. If you have questions, contact Nicole Keenan, nicole@wecprotects.org or 206-631-2606.

One thought on ““Coal Hard Truth Forum” to discuss coal train impacts”

  1. I am 100% opposed to these trains, but this is a wrong-headed argument. The long-range plan for SODO has been to construct viaducts at Holgate and Lander, which would make this point largely moot, except at Spokane Street.

    I approach it from the perspective of how the rail congestion these trains will create will impact Amtrak Cascades and Sounder. The people of Washington, and the people of the ST taxing area in particular, have invested millions of dollars into rail infrastructure, to ensure passenger rail mobility and relieve existing congestion

    Part of that investment has been used to bring the rails up to passenger service levels, to ensure comfort and increased speeds. Coal trains, due to their weight, break the rails down quicker than regular trains.

    There should be draconian – and I do mean draconian – fines for delays to passenger trains. A per-ton surcharge for coal trains to keep the rails up to an acceptable level, and an environmental fund established by BNSF/Union Pacific to pay to restore the sound and/or the Columbia when the inevitable spills happen.

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