> Home > Government > Officials > Mayor >  Mayor's Feedback Requests > What are your thoughts about coal and oil trains running through Auburn?

Mayor's Feedback Requests

What are your thoughts about coal and oil trains running through Auburn?

I support the movement of commerce (including oil and coal) across our country. The railroads do need to be proactive in letting the cities and towns along their route know what and when it is coming. Also, I think the railroads need to provide support, to include monetary funds for local governments and first responders to develop and have emergency plans in place. 

Thank you, 
Jeffrey S.


Since there is no pipeline to transport the oil, train is the safest. If the industry doesn't use trains, the alternative is to use trucks. I suppose that may be better, but the fire still looks bad on tv. It would probably mean that some persons or people died in the wreck.

The same goes tor the coal trains.

Why not welcome the opportunity to have businesses locate in Washington, or are the folks just anti-business. If no coal trains or oil trains, I say ban the grain and lumber trains also.

In other words, you don't need a plan.

Leave it just the way it is. It is NOT government's (at any level) to go around and stick your nose into some business. I would think that some compromise (I know that is a dirty word) could be reached.
The Federal Energy Regulations Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, OSHA, and the Federal Railroad Commission have regulatory authority. I would think that if a city or county tries to impose more strict regulations, that entity would be open to very costly legal action. I would hate, as a taxpayer, for you to be spending my money trying to defend something that you should not have done in the first place.

Thanks for listening to my point of view.

Larry G.


I would not attend. The federal government (DOT & EPA) has collected our taxes to be able to exercise the regulatory authority/responsibility for safe interstate transportation and environmental affairs. 

Local, County and State governments need to focus priorities ,and their limited resources, to providing law & order, schools, planning and building infrastructure, conducting public administration to support economic growth and prosperity for their communities. This creates economic growth and the conditions for people to have better jobs, improved lives and opportunities for their kids. “The American Dream.” 

Auburn’s Mayor is a non-partisan elected position, correct? Attending would be indulging the noisy, uber-liberal environmentalists and their cause-du jour. They will not be content until we are all living in government housing, grazing on GMO free tofu and reading our kindles by the glow of a solar-powered, photovoltaic LED. 

Regards, 
Daniel W.


Mile long trains are pretty much the norm in the transport of fossil fuel components. So are the explosions of these trains. It should be of great concern to anyone in the area - especially since those trains go through the heart of our city. More and more of these trains are having accidents, fires, explosions that are causing devastation to towns and cities across the US. Some are so bad that they are causing major evacuations of small towns, and fires that rage for days, destroying local environments and ecosystems.

If I were to have my voice heard, that voice would demand that these trains not be on the rails anymore. Fossil fuels are defunct. We have far better options available to us, that are not being utilized due to a monopoly of money and spaces to be heard by the fossil fuel companies who do not want to change - death and destruction is far too lucrative for them.

If my voice were to be heard, it would be expressing great concern that these moving death traps are coming through the heart of our city and through populated areas of our city.

I hope our mayor is able to speak for those who are unable to make it to hearings and meetings with councils. And I hope she is open to hearing the concerns of councils against the norm are saying.

Thank you 
Rowen K.


I don't believe that we should ban any type of legal commerce being shipped through our state. If we object, then we should not allow any commerce shipments at all. As I understand it, all state and inter-state commerce is carefully regulated by state and federal laws. 

However, I am concerned about performance - proper rail and highway maintenance of all freight right of ways used by carriers. I am especially worried that adequate and mandatory inspections are scheduled and routinely carried out by properly certified inspectors. Mandatory use of safe equipment such as double-hulled rail tank cars or special highway truck trailers must be all certified before use for our public safety. (Proper freight carrying aircraft and ships are another concern too.) 

If all public safety laws are based on "common sense" rules and regulations and practiced by all carriers (highway, airway, waterway, and railway) transporting any "dangerous" commerce", then we should not have to worry. I believe that all state and federal regulator type employees who are charged to implement and carry out safety inspections be properly trained. They should be subject to immediate termination if found negligent in their performance duties and subject to criminal prosecution. (I would expect no less from meat and food inspectors.) 

Public safety is a critical concern for all of us, but if our state and federal representatives (who serve the people) do their jobs properly, we should not worry. After all, that's is why we elect them, to do that "worry-some" job for us.

John W.


Don't really see any problems as long as train speeds are reduced to 35 MPH through the Auburn - Kent corridor. Trains carriying hazardous materials have be going through this area for years at speeds near 80 MPH. Covered hopper cars for the coal would also help.

John D.


Please do keep in mind coal trains have been at the Auburn yard and send through the region starting with the Black Diamond yard for over a hundred years. 

Few cared until it became a political issue with coal going to China.

Pete L.


We hate having our fair city criss-crossed by these toxic trains. The oil has a terrible record of fiery explosions, and the constant coal trains leave toxic coal dust all over. Both are ruining our planet for our children & grandchildren. 


I know the oil and coal companies don't want to give any info as to amounts, times & frequency. At the least, the county & city should demand this necessary information. Then safety & other regulations can be made. It's hard going up against these powerful entities & their political connections. Thank you for representing us & our future. 

Jim & Wanda G.


If they add a couple dozen oil trains to the expected couple dozen coal trains that take up to 15 minutes each, east- west travel through the city will be pretty well blocked off 24/7, eh?

Maybe a few more overpasses are in order for all crossings between the Idaho border and the waterfront ports. Auburn's problems will be trivial compared to Edmonds and the state ferry system. 


Since a few billionaires control the oligarchy and oligopoly, it is doubtful the city or state can do much about it under the Federal RR laws. Nothing will change until a grassroots uprising forces a taxation system that breaks up that threat to the existence of our vanishing free state. 

Regards, 
Bob Z.


In observing these long trains, it would seem the coal trains are moving through our area uncovered. They seem to be moving slowly to the point I have not observed any coal dust coming off the cars, however, it would seem to be a better fit for our town and the environment to have the coal cars covered. I would not want to see either coal or oil trains moving at a higher rate of speed and would also like to see them moving through town in the late evenings versus during the day.

Ron C .


Before meeting with the political group, Leadership Alliance Against Coal, I would ask city staff if there is any hard evidence that the movement of coal through our city has ever caused health issues for Auburn citizens. Perhaps the White River Historical Society could also go through their records to see if there has ever been a health issue from the transport of coal. This is a highly charged emotional issue that needs to be evaluated in the cold light of scientific reasoning using statistical data. The city of Kent has requested the US Army of Civil Engineers and the Department of Ecology to evaluate impacts to the environment of the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal. This too would be helpful data to consider. 

I do not have a concern about the transport of coal through our city. I do see a host of economic benefits for the community. 

Sincerely, 
Marie-Anne H.


But it does mean the tracks need good, consistent maintenance which includes the road crossings. I've seen people try to go around the cross bars, idiots. They are there for a reason. 

That's my two cents.
Ron K.


The crux of the oil and coal train issue is that there are going to be a very few people making a lot of money at the expense of a huge number of the rest of us.

Oil and coal trains will be a significant problem in Auburn.  If the proposed upper levels of both oil and coal shipments is reached, there will be about 40 trains per day going through town, and the railroad crossings will be closed an additional 2 to 4 hours per day, every day.  This will also be true for every other community between western North Dakota and Bellingham, and that affects a lot of people.

Coal trains provide no side benefits to Auburn, unless some train crew people happen to live here.  The temporary construction jobs and the much smaller number of ongoing operations jobs will be concentrated at the ends of the train routes: North Dakota, Wyoming, Vancouver and Bellingham.

The oil trains will benefit the local area by providing feedstock to the refineries near Bellingham, and the output of these refineries does support energy use in the whole Pacific Northwest.

Preparing for the rare but inevitable accidents is a particularly thorny problem.  The energy companies and the railroads will be making a huge amount of money from these trains, and they could easily afford to provide excellent maintenance, safety and disaster recovery systems, but getting them to take responsibility for these problems has proved to be hideously difficult.  We need to remember that these trains run for long distances alongside some very important waterways such as the Columbia River and Puget Sound, and an oil spill into these waters would be a real disaster.

Well, those are a few of the issues.  There are lots more, but space is limited …

Pete B.


We are not in favor of coal trains coming through the Auburn Valley or over the mountains. 

I find it ironic that our Administration in Washington D.C. is shutting down coal mining because of the environment and here in our area uncovered coal trains would be subject to wind, weather Etc.  It could not but help affect all our lives.

Alyce B.

What do you think? Send us an email now!