Hypocrattle shows its true colors.

When superlib and Democrat fundraiser Warren Buffet slams coal dust into the lungs of your children right in the heart of ecotopia, you turn tail and sing its praises.

Why don't you all crawl your way into the recess of some no bedroom 5x5' Mudude Condo and breathe through a Bolivia wool knit cap for all I care?

Tunnel, you dig?
What is good for rail, is good for everyone, or haven't you paid attention for the last 150 years in the west?
No Tunnel. Tunnel bad.

No dig, @2.
Such arrogance. Just because there's no x amount of benefit to Seattle from the coal trains, let's just discount those outer lying jobs in Montana and Wyoming as inconsequential.
This is the dumbest set of Sierra Club talking points I have seen to date on the whole issue of Coal trains. If the point is to set up a straw man for polemics about Port Hypocrisy, then, well done. If the point is to convince the Port, freight interests, etc that they should choose one or the other, well then, there is no point.
I'm not suggesting we "discount" them, I'm suggesting that we compare them to the economic damages inflicted on Seattle (and every other city along the rail lines).
Additionally: the mayor is refusing to even consider mitigation for his idiotic arena, so it makes little sense for his shills to suddenly offer feigned concern over freight mobility. Same for O'Brien.

But, yeah, we're Seattle, so fuck Whatcom county.
@2 is correct. And a fair amount of it is already there; it's just south of the stadiums that needs to bury the tracks. This is precisely the infrastructure that allowed New York to live with its train service: get them off the streets.
@4: Already Tunnel. Dumbass.
Anyone care to guess how much it would cost to bury the tracks? Or who might pay for it?

Until then, Seattle has 8 streets -- several of them classified as important for trucks -- that will be closed somewhere around 2 hours per day.
@10 we're using it already. You should keep up.

I know it's hard for you to understand, but the coal trains BY LAW are permitted to operate surface to the port and it's federal law so there's nothing you can do about that. Which means South Seattle and North Seattle get to choke on coal dust and have higher infant deaths.

Beside, the Tolled Tunnel Of Billionaire Bile hasn't even be drilled yet. That clvsterfvck is only going to get worse.
Are the ships at the Port running on solar power, or is Gael a fucking hypocrite?
The Port, the gas spewing trucks that service it, are pollution machines.
One other difference - it's interstate commerce, and there's little the Port of Seattle, the City of Seattle, or the State of Washington can do to stop it. Only the federal government can do that.
A potential arena does not fall into that same category.
@12: Will, there is already a train tunnel under downtown. Is the air on Cap Hill too thin for you to notice? Actual people built it using primitive technology over 90 years ago. Last I heard it hasn't flooded, nor has downtown collapsed into it.
A recent article out of Billings, MT:…



Fifteen trains a day, on average, rolled through Billings last year. If a passing train has interrupted your journey as you drove, bicycled or walked toward the tracks on 27th, 28th or 29th Streets North, downtown, you realize that this annoyance could turn to disaster if you were doing something like driving an ambulance from the south side of the tracks to reach one of the hospitals on the north side.

Now picture up to 40 more trains per day, either moving west heaped with coal bound for Asia or returning empty. These coal cars would fill up again in the Powder River Basin and other “Western Bituminous” coalfields in Montana and Wyoming, which now supply more than 42 percent of the nation’s coal.

If more and more trains passing through is the future for Billings – and for other railroad towns on the way to ports on the West Coast – then the force driving us toward this future is the declining demand for coal in the U.S. – and the coal companies’ desire to stay profitable.

The recent drop is U.S. coal consumption is dramatic: Coal-fired electric power generation was down 11.6 percent in 2008-2009 alone. Coal, which was generating more than half the electricity in the United States, now is at 44.5 percent, the same percentage as in 1978. For Arch Coal, Cloud Peak, Peabody and other players, one way to reverse this trend is supplying the rising demand in Asia...
@5 - It's not a matter of "x amount of benefit" for Seattle - it's a matter of x amount of HARM to Seattle. So it's "arrogant" to try to prevent harm to your city because some other state wants to make a buck?

You aren't making much sense these days. Maybe you should get a depression screening. There's no co-pay, thanks to the ACA.
@17: Then I suggest you quit your job because you're "just want to make a buck." Tell that to your fellow union democrat miner friends in the Rockies. And you accuse me of not making sense. Wow.
As someone who grew up in a town with an inordinate amount of rail traffic (the original eastern terminus of the Union Pacific!) with a lot of it being coal trains, I can tell you that they suck immensely.

In Seattle, a viaduct at Holgate and Lander would help with the traffic, but you will still have horrific backups at Spokane Street, and whatever that street that borders the southern end of the sculpture park is.

But.... Coal dust from coal trains is awful. Everything within a quarter mile or so of the tracks - including those toney houses above the tracks north of town who already hate the trains - will be constantly covered with a fine coat of black coal dust.

They'll also wreak havoc on the tracks, and probably mess up the Amtrak and sounder schedules.

All this for a stupid, nasty way of generating electricity for a communist country. Anything to make a buck, I suppose.
@ 19, I live near a rail line that has dozens of coal trains pass every day. No dust - at least not like what you describe. Probably because it's all that "clean" coal from Wyoming, which I'd bet a dollar is the same coal that would go through Seattle. And I really doubt that they'll "wreak havoc on the tracks." That's uncharacteristically hyperbolic of you.
Matt dear, I must admit that I have no idea what sort of coal goes through Council Bluffs, but I will stand by my dust claim. Perhaps it's one of those instances where some people are better housekeepers than others?

As for the track: it's well established that commodity trains are heavier, and wear down rails more than either passenger or conventional freight trains. The "wreaks havoc" part comes in because a washing machine, or Nintendo game, or load of wheat doesn't feel the effects of deteriorating track, but a human does. The Nixonian Corporate Welfare Program known as Amtrak has to deal with this - even though the freight railroads are theoretically bound to keep the lines that have passenger trains on up to a passenger standard.

The dust situation could be easily solved by having covered hoppers. But just think of the price!
@18 - Funny you mention it. Finally I WILL be able to quit my job. My pre-existing condition has prevented me from doing that for the last 16 years, since I had to be continuously employed to keep my insurance.

But thanks to Obama, I'll be able to start my own business, something I've wanted to do for about a decade.

Of course, this is a freedom you'd like to deny me - and others like me - of, since you know as well as anyone that your man is lying when he says he'll replace ACA along with the promised repeal. Because you can't ban denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions without a mandate. Just ask Romney: he has experience in the matter.

(Actually - I know you don't wish me that kind of ill, but I wanted to play the holier-than-thou card, too. And apologies to all for the non-train-related tangent.)
@13 Gael is a fucking hypocrite.
For Catalina:

Coal Miner's Daughter

Second to Catalina. Coal trains suck. Denver used to be hugely inconvenienced by coal trains before they grade-separated all the crossing. Which can be done, of course, but $ Ka-ching!

The Edmonds ferry route schedule is fucked if they don't build an overpass there (if that's practical). Good thing WSF is so flush with cash. Oh, wait...

Please wait...

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