Rail was here, coal was not

Editor:

Re: Time to work as a team, Oct. 3 letters.

Editor:

Re: Time to work as a team, Oct. 3 letters.

I take exception to the letter writer’s statement: “I find it hard to understand that purchasers of homes impacted have such issues as train tracks after they purchase.”

I purchased property many years ago in White Rock and, yes, I was aware of the train tracks. At that time, the trains were not transporting mile-and-a-half long cars of dirty, powdered U.S. thermal coal through White Rock.

These trains are polluting our air with coal dust/toxic diesel emissions, plus noise, etc. Yes, at this time we can’t tell them what they can or cannot transport. However, keep in mind that the smoking population at one time smoked with impunity anywhere they desired. This has changed.

Thus an expanding grass-roots organization called Communities and Coal is bringing awareness of the negative impacts on health, business and the environment to the public in regard to thermal coal.

They are to be commended, as they are giving so much of their time to organize town-hall meetings and petitions. Another meeting is scheduled for Oct. 16 at Colebrook United Church, 5441 125A St.

Oh yes, the question most often asked is “Why don’t they cover the cars?” In the insurance world, covered powdered thermal-coal cars are considered an “inherent vice,” so there would be no insurance. Thermal-powdered coal is highly combustible. So, if the cars are covered the constant vibrations of the moving train or the heat from the sun could cause them to combust – go up in flame if covered.

BNSF now sprays the top of each car with a surfactant much like a gummy-bear topping. However this becomes brittle and blows off during its journey. Empty cars are not sprayed, so there is more dust.

Thankfully, several councils understand the issues and have voiced their opposition to a new coal terminal at Fraser Surrey Docks.

Eve Weimer, White Rock