The letter printed on June 26 is but the most recent on the subject of coal train hysteria. It seems to me this NIMBY-led hullabaloo is clouding the real issues, such as; is it smart to be sending huge amounts of our raw resources to China; and, might not the proposed Cherry Point export terminal be out-of-scale for this corner of the Salish Sea?
Being recently retired from BNSF Railway, I've spent much time walking, riding on and doing repairs on the railroad line running through our area. Never once did I observe coal dust fouling the track structure -- though I have observed (and assisted in the cleanup of) leaves, mud, petroleum coke and rotting grain.
I guess I grew up in a different world back East, where trains were accepted as part of the scenery and many houses had coal bins in their basements. And our school play yard was graveled with cinders. Somehow it wasn't all that horrific.