The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Friday, November 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Cherry Point

Coal trains roll through already

If anybody thinks stopping Cherry Point Coal terminal from being built will stop the trains from running, I've got news for you. The railroad has been running coal trains through your towns going into Canada for at least 10 years and you probably haven't even noticed.
As far as polluting our air here are a couple of facts: The locomotives the railroad uses have to be emission-tested once every year so they are running cleaner than most trucks running up I-5. As for coal dust blowing all over, the trains are carefully loaded and sprayed with a solution to prevent this, the railroad wants to deliver as much tonnage as they can.
I think the biggest fear most people have, real people, not special interest groups, is the crossings being blocked. They are right, there will be times when the crossings will be blocked. The trains will have no reason to stop and block a crossing; they will pass right on by. And remember, if they don't build the terminal at Cherry Point the same trains can go through your towns on their way to Point Roberts in Canada. If it only means 480 permanent jobs, that's 480 people with jobs who will be spending their money in your towns and helping the economy. The 480 jobs will just be at the terminal, nobody has stopped to count the extra train crews the BNSF will have to hire or the track maintenance people and the Craftsmen hired to inspect and repair the coal cars and locomotives.
Too bad there is always a small group of people that just have to protest everything, and the sad thing about that is they feel they are speaking for the majority when they are really speaking for the minority.
John K. Graham
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

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Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.