And the study doesn’t have much positive to say about constructing six proposed northwest export terminals that would ship 150 million tons of coal a year to Asia.
While Spokane’s City Council went so far as to approve a resolution requesting further study of the effects of coal train travel through the City of Spokane, it’s still looking doubtful we will ever see that many more coal trains through our area than currently. As I blogged a few weeks ago, rumor has it that up to sixty more trains could come through daily. The Inland Pacific Hub project we have been working on the past couple years says this isn’t likely though because the capacity of the two Class I lines through our area is 78 trains per day, which is at capacity on the UP line and nearing capacity on the BNSF line (page 89). That means the lines couldn’t physically carry another 60 trains and the railroads claim they don’t plan to expand anytime soon.
We’ll continue to monitor this situation though, as freight movement is a large part of transportation, and report back when there is new information.