There have been several letters regarding the influx of trains carrying coal for export to China and Korea.
Paul Kingery’s July 24 letter, “Cover the coal cars,” is incorrect as to the unloading of coal at its destination. The cars are lifted, rotated and dumped from the top, in most instances. He is correct that if a solution is reached, it can save lengthy lawsuits from the several factions.
Loaded coal trains are sprayed with a liquid to hold the dust in place. Consideration should be given to resolve concerns from the public, environmentalists, railroad and shippers, to each party’s satisfaction.
Spraying the loads is not enough. Consider washing each train on departure in a similar way that they wash railroad engines. Then spray the load with a protective coating. After reaching the destination for unloading, repeat the wash and coating on departure.
One of the major issues will be the infrastructure changes, and to overcome the initial cost by the railroad and shippers.
That’s where the good old American way comes in. Pass the costs on to the consumers.
The coal is already being transported, so it would make sense to reach a solution that can satisfy all parties and does not add additional costs to the shipper and the railroads.
Wilfred J. Hudson, Vancouver