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View Diary: 101 Reasons to be Concerned About Coal Export (54 comments)

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  •  Trainwatch! (2+ / 0-)
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    James Wells, aliasalias

    BNSF coal trains leave the new siding North of Stanwood entering Skagit County near where we live on a bluff above and 1/4 mile from the tracks.  We can see and identify trains from our house.  The new siding was constructed last year, allowing BNSF to park a mile and a half long coal train and then send it North from there.

    Lately the schedule has been erratic, sometimes at the crack of dawn, sometimes in the middle of the day but rarely during rush hour in Mount Vernon.
    Here's a recent email to Terry Wechsler, attorney for your anti coal group in Bellingham.

    Terry,

    I live near the county line between Skagit and Snohomish on a bluff ¼ mile away and overlooking the BN/SF tracks. A little over a year ago, BN/SF constructed another set of tracks parallel to the pre-existing tracks. BN/SF is already sending coal trains over these tracks. They park the coal trains on the new siding North of Stanwood and then start them up just before dawn. Four locomotives are used to overcome the inertia of these trains and get them moving. The morning diesel whining and groaning wakes us up to say nothing of the incessant, ear splitting air horn warnings:

    CAN'T STOP! . . OUTTA THE WAY. . . WE RUN YOU DOWN!

    I can barely imagine what it would be like with 20 of these uncovered coal trains and 20 trains of empty cars bisecting our communities every day.

    Is noise pollution a legitimate scoping issue?

    Good luck with your trainwatch project, aliasalias.
    Give me a number to call and I'll give you a heads up.
    •  thnx if I can get some help here in B'ham (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Wells, justintime

      it can be done and you are just what is needed for it to work. The last coal people meeting was cancelled and that was where I wanted to talk about the idea but I still need help for it to work, so I'd like to be able to contact you if it can get cobbled together.
      I also live near the track in downtown so I hear all trains, 24/7, but after seven years here and a past as a brakeman (with time at the coal terminal at Roberts Bank) on the railroad, I'm alright with the current activity of mixed freight and passenger trains, but not the coal trains. I can guess if it's a load of coal just by the sound of the wheels squealing, the ramping up of the engines doing the pull and the slight shiver I can feel from the building. Which makes me think about this..this is an official historical building (City Hall 1890-1895) so I'm wondering if effects on historical buildings have any place in the scoping process about the effects of the coal trains.

      Thanks for the offer and I'll get you my phone number and we'll see what happens. Maybe more of this will get worked out (on this end anyway) at the next coal group meeting at Re-Sources and if I have a way to reach you I can let you know (or Terry can) if it looks workable.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Thu May 03, 2012 at 03:52:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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