Train arrives at Longview grain terminal without incident

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: September 29, 2011, 9:54 PM

 

The third train scheduled to head to the EGT grain terminal in Longview passed through the Vancouver area on Thursday without incident, officials said.

Police officers guarded railroad crossings as the train passed through Vancouver around 7 a.m. It arrived in Longview without incident around 10 a.m., BNSF Railway regional spokesman Gus Melonas said.

There were no protesters, picketers, trespassers or reports of suspicious activity in Vancouver or in the corridor up to Longview on Thursday, Melonas said.

The train, which originated in Cheney, had three locomotives and carried 110 carloads of wheat.

The train was closely monitored with resource protection officers.

“We will continue with close eyes on the operation and enhanced resource protection assistance and will monitor movements in Vancouver and through the Longview corridor,” Melonas said.

The track between Vancouver and Longview is the busiest transportation corridor for freight and passenger trains in the Northwest, Melonas said.

Up to 60 trains per day travel through the area.

Police in Vancouver also guarded crossings in Vancouver on Sept. 21 when a train passed through the area. Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union rallied on tracks on Sept. 7 to prevent a train from heading north. Earlier this week, the railroad announced it had discovered dozens of acts of tampering in the rail corridor between Vancouver and Chehalis.

Jennifer Sargent, local spokeswoman for the union, told The Columbian the union knew the train was coming through this morning.

Leal Sundet, union committeeman, issued the following statement in an email:

“Given the abusive tactics of railroad police and Cowlitz County law enforcement acting as the private security force for EGT when they physically accosted sisters, wives, and mothers peacefully protesting on Port of Longview owned tracks the last time a train came in, we chose to be the first ones to tone down the intensity in an effort to send a message to Larry Clarke, CEO of EGT, that it would be prudent for him and in the best interest of all parties to sit down with ILWU International President Robert McEllrath to solve this dispute. The only real method of resolution is for that meeting to take place as soon as possible,” Sundet wrote.