With debate heating up over coal exports and oil shipments, the Sightline Daily blog is analyzing public at-grade rail crossings from Sandpoint, Idaho to Cherry Point, Washington. An article posted late last week takes a look specifically at the impact an increase in coal trains would have in Spokane County and predicts the trains would close rail crossings an average of between one hour and 47 minutes a day to four hours a day!
Here’s the article, which looks closely at many of the railroad crossings in Spokane County and comes with handy maps you can zoom in on.
They are neat maps, I saved them. Too bad that tore down the second railroad bridge across the Spokane river near Kaiser Trentwood, it will be a major undertaking to build a new railroad bridge there.
I also read a nice article on how falling export prices of coal may make building the export terminals obsolete before they ship a ton of coal.
Not sure if you remember the "Bridging the Valley" series of projects. They mostly fell out of favor politically recently because putting over/underpasses along the tracks wasn't a top priority, but we're starting to get asked about them again as a result of these coal train discussions.
I'll have to look up that article. That's very interesting- all that cost and trouble and public outrage to build something that may be obsolete quicker than my phone!