EarthFix | Oregon Public Broadcasting
April 1, 2013
The five coal export terminals proposed for Washington and Oregon could add dozens of trains a day to Northwest railways.
Those trains would mean new business for coal companies, railroad companies and the ports. They would create short-term construction jobs and long-term port and railroad jobs. They would generate tax revenue for the states with the ports.
Coal trains also would carry downsides.
Most communities along the coal train route will see no immediate benefits from the new rail traffic. The coal trains will simply be passing through.
People in those communities have raised concerns about the environmental impacts, including coal dust that could escape from the trains. They also are concerned about the impact the dust and diesel emissions from the locomotives will have on their health.
The long, sometimes up to 1.6 mile-long, coal trains could impact other rail traffic, too.