The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Coal trains

Wait gives time to ponder commerce

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The other day as I was driving to Everett I noticed a 100-car oil-tanker train on the tracks between Everett and Marysville. Upon coming home (I live along the tracks North of Marysville) I had to wait for a 120-car coal-train as it passed by. I couldn't help but think of all the controversy that is surrounding train traffic as of late.
The picture that came to my mind is all the jobs that these trains represent, not just a few jobs of running these trains, but the hundreds and possibly thousands of jobs in the background. All these train cars and engines have to be designed, parts created, shipped to factories all to be assembled by people. Then they (the cars) have to be loaded, transported, unloaded, maintained, again by people, lots of people.
To me, waiting is small stuff compared to all the trade and commerce that these trains represent. Are we that busy that we can't wait for a few minutes? Are we that troubled by a little holdup now and then? The tracks were here long before most of us moved here, did we not expect them to be used? I live within a few hundred feet from the tracks and I can not smell coal dust.
Materials needed for commerce have to be moved from one place to another, I can not comprehend how many trucks would be added to our freeways if these commodities had to be transported by truck, at a much higher rate resulting in much higher cost. A few moments delay in one's day should minor compared to the benefits that are created using trains. Many of the products that we use every day are moved by rail, they (trains) are a necessary part of life.
Andy Korthius

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