Coal Trains Could Delay Downtown, SoDo Traffic By One to Three Hours a Day, Study Finds


What exactly would stop us from barring these trains except between 12am and 4am?
Dear Mr. McGinn: the word is "cyclists". Not "bikers". A "biker" is a dentist in a midlife crisis astride a $35,000 Harley. People riding bicycles are cyclists. NOT BIKERS.

@1, the trains will run 24/7. If you restricted them to 12-4 AM the way would be permanently blocked that entire time, and there still wouldn't be enough hours to let them through.

The obvious solution, in light of the fact that even the current 3.5 hours of obstruction a day is unsustainable in a working city, is to bury the tracks. But we can't do that because we're burying the viaduct instead, and building more stadiums. Nice priorities you've got there, Seattle.
For once, Fnarf is correct.

Bury the coal trains, not SR-99.
Where do the longshoremen and Port of Seattle types stand on this? They're usually ready to pitch a fit at anything that delays their trucks down there.
The port's silence on the coal trains is because they are financially linked to the proposers of the facility. Which makes their histrionics about the arena even more ridiculous.
@ #1 Railroads are regulated under federal law, the city doesn't have the authority to restrict their movement. Witness the recent court case in Bellingham that threw out a citizen's initiative proposing to ban coal trains on these grounds. It's just not something that the city gets a say in.
So this puts the war-on-cars people squarely in the pro-coal-train column. Right?
@6 not exactly correct. Regulations concerning uncovered coal loads causing health hazards are within the purview of counties and such.

Requirements that tunnels be used for hazardous materials such as coal dust also are within zoning scopes.
So this is what it takes for you to worry about car commuters, is it?
I sure hope McGinn is right about bicyclists dying underneath coal trains. Could we request even more of them?
Why are the trains coming all the way around the south to go up to Bellingham instead of taking the Empire Builder route through the northern part of the state?
@6: Surely trains must be subject to some sort of environmental impact review.

If, for example, coal trains release a bunch of coal dust in the air, seems there could be legal recourse via the EPA.

Also, how did King County come into possession of the Burlington Northern Eastside Rail Corridor? Is that line still governed entirely by the feds?
I'm not sure if this concern has been addressed elsewhere, but the single-track tunnel under the city already causes train backups. More idling trains waiting for their turn means more diesel exhaust pollution. Just what we need, added to all that pollution emitted by the idling vehicles waiting for the trains.
I guess Seattle shouldn't have ditched the Lander project and should have built the entire SR519 project, instead of a hotel.
@13 its double track thru the tunnel.
@11 bnsf recently runs unit trains (manifest, grain, coal) east over the stampeed sub and west around the horn via Vancouver. See "iron triangle"
@2 the trains will be limited at 6-9am and 3-5 pm because sounder trains take priority.
@11, check out Sightline's earlier piece on rail congestion. Seattle actually is on the Empire Builder rail line, but I think you're talking about the Stevens Pass route, which is already over capacity. More here:…
@11, Link got cut off. Google "Sightline Daily" and "Coal Trains and Rail Congestion" to see the map of rail lines in the state.
You want coal dust in the Seattle and your neighbor hoods? Are you guys nuts...Property values will go down and what about all the noise of those trains? And the coal dust that you will be exposed to.
Besides this coal is brought to China for speculation from Goldman Sachs and our wonderful Warren Buffet.China does not want our Coal. They are way ahead of us in alternative energy and their own coal is cleaner. . They are going to keep it for speculation, causing this whole upheaval. Then besides the coal Trains it will go through Puget Sound on ships making our killer whales disappear and die. As basically it will be worse than the Panama Canal. Oh forget about a accident from either a coal train or one of those tankers.
If China will sell it back to us I hope we will have still our friendly relations in existence. While the coal trains and tankers will bring it back to us. We again will be exposed to pollution. While we are waiting for the coal to return we will not have done a darn thing about alternative energy resources

Lopez No Coal :
Video from Moral politics with Darshan Rauniyar who ran for congress in the 1st congressional district the only one opposing the Cherry Point project.
please watch this video: