Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coal Trains in Bellingham Part III

Tim Johnson covers coal export plans for Whatcom County in this weeks Cascadia Weekly. It is worth the time to pick up a copy downtown.The print issue contains numerous, lengthly comments from concerned citizens in the letters to the editor and a notice of two upcoming meetings:

I can't help but point out the irony/tragedy of possibly running 43 million metric tons/year of coal through the South Fork Valley.  The closest thing Whatcom County now has to a "start-up community" of entrepreneurs are all those young families farming the rich earth of Whatcom County's South Fork Valley. Now that they are established  feeding healthy, organic local produce to residents of the Northwest, of course we are going to run coal right through their farming. Yep, we really support small business here in the Northwest... By the way, if you don't think coal is dirty and dangerous, just plug the phrase "coal ash" into Google... Or read this article...

I caught a coal train coming and going last week: two engines in front, two behind. I would like to know why the rails squeal so much when the train passes. In the first part of the cell phone video below, I have my windows rolled up. Then I roll them down. Later in the day, I was hiking through Larrabee State Park and caught what looked like the same coal train returning with deafening sound. Almost hard to imagine living in those condos off Railroad Ave. downtown and listening to that squeal 18 times per day and night. Or would that be 36 times per day (with return trips)?

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