My latest 21st Century Viking opinion piece for the Ballard News-Tribune is my first foray into the coal train issue. There is currently some proposals going around to build coal export terminals at ports along the Washington and Oregon coasts. The coal will have to be shipped by rail through Seattle (and Ballard) to these facilities.
There is a concern among local environmentalists and activists about the increased pollution from the coal dust and length of these trains. Most of the dialogue around the coal trains is coming from the anti-side so I wanted to take more balanced look.
My plan is to learn more about this subject and the state of freight and transportation in general around the Northwest.