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Think Out Loud

Coal Would Bring More Rail Traffic To Northwest

Pete Springer/OPB

The EarthFix team has been looking into the many ways that proposed coal terminals would affect the lives and livelihoods of people in the Northwest. Reporter Bonnie Stewart’s latest investigative piece focuses on what it would take for Northwest railways to be ready to accommodate new trains carrying coal to the proposed terminals.

If four new terminals are built, that could mean as many as 43 more trains a day coming through areas where rail traffic is already causing congestion. (This week, the last investor pulled out of a fifth project proposed for Coos Bay.) A study shows railways would need a lot of improvements in order to accommodate these trains in addition to the freight and passenger trains that already traverse the tracks.

coal environment trains transportation

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