The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Monday, November 19, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Coal trains

An efficient way to move commodity

The way I see it: Just about everything affects air quality. Cars, trucks, boats, home heating, and electrical generators. Life evolves. We need lots of electricity, we need our cars, we need goods transported across the country. Trains are very efficient, creating a lot less pollution than the equivalent number of trucks to haul the same cargo. Or we could go back to the 1800's and live with piles of horse manure in the streets and fires caused by cows kicking over a lantern.
Asking an interstate commerce business to limit itself because it might occasionally inconvenience you isn't fair. I cross the tracks every day. I'm stopped by a train on average once every 2 or 3 months. I've waited longer at some traffic lights than for a train. Be honest. How often are you actually stopped by a train?
The railroad was here before any of us. It has no where else to go. It isn't the railroads fault that we all decided to live near the tracks. Some people complain about the loud horns on locomotives. These are mandated by the Federal Government because there are too many drivers that think a train can't hurt them. Don't blame the railroad.
I've read a lot of articles where someone claims that dust from coal trains will ruin air quality. But I haven't seen any actual tests to prove it. All I've heard is a lot of people saying the sky will fall. The coal will be treated with crusting agent to prevent dust. It also seems logical to me that if there is any dust it would be blown off long before the train gets to Washington.
Let's be fair. Consider the positive possibilities too!
Ken Adams
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

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