During my 25 years as a Washington State Patrol trooper, I saw the results of train accidents from derailments to tragic crossing collisions. Spokane County has many rural crossings that are inherently dangerous. The elevated tracks through the heart of downtown have always been a safety concern. A derailment there would be catastrophic, particularly when hazardous cargo is involved. I-90 and the hospitals could be paralyzed.
Increased rail traffic on substandard infrastructure is a top concern for emergency responders. Train derailments have been a constant problem throughout the United States.
This all begs the question: Why on earth would our city and county agree to adding up to 60 trains a day hauling coal to China through our county? The only argument to do so seems to be adding a few jobs, mainly to coal terminals on the West Coast.
Somehow, the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers is responsible for the decision-making process for this horrible plan. Please let your county commissioners and city councils know they need to represent us at the Dec. 4 hearing at the Spokane County Fairgrounds. They should be adamant that hauling coal through our county is not remotely in our best interest.