Seattle: More coal trains would increase delays

Becca Shew video

SEATTLE (AP) – A new city of Seattle report finds that an increase in coal trains through the city would increase delays at railroad crossings and affect emergency response times.

A proposed port near Bellingham plans to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming for export to Asia. The project could lead to as many as nine round-trip trains a day in 2026, likely through Seattle.

The report commissioned by the city estimated that gates would be down at railroad crossings an additional 31 to 83 minutes each day in 2015, and an additional 67 to 183 minutes in 2026. The study says the proposed coal trains would impact emergency vehicle trips to and from the waterfront.

Port developers have said the project’s impacts would be reviewed fully and that it will meet high environmental standards. Supporters say it would bring jobs and millions in tax revenues.

And it’s not just delays that are upsetting locals. Mount Vernon’s Nancy O’Connor said trains constantly barrel behind her house. She said four daily coal trains have destroyed her home’s infrastructure and even killed her dog.