In his Aug. 5 letter "Coal trains create dust," Joe Csizmazia described his experience with a coal train traveling through the Gorge paralleling state Highway 14. At the very least, what he was describing was a gross exaggeration.
I frequently travel state Highway 14 under all sorts of weather conditions and often see the coal trains in the Gorge but I have never seen anything close to what Csizmazia describes. Also, I have hiked along the tracks in various places through the Gorge and have not seen any evidence of coal dust along the tracks.
From my home in Vancouver I see coal trains as they pass through and have never seen dust blowing off the railcars regardless of the weather nor have I seen coal dust on the ground along the tracks. Additionally, I see no adverse effects on vegetation along the tracks.
James A. Brady