Here is the latest from the editorial page of the Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard:
Then there’s the disturbing issue of coal dust pollution. Coal trains can lose up to 3 percent of their loads in dust blowing from cars, potentially damaging the health of residents and the productivity of local farms, and degrading the overall quality of life.
Supporters note that railroads have a new rule requiring mines to spray loads with a surfactant that limits dust drift, but the operative word here is “limit,” not eliminate.
Yes, in the past that might have been an issue. But, as the editorial itself concedes, coal loads are now sprayed to "limit" the amount of coal dust.
Saturday, I took a brand new camera out for the first time. I wanted to get fast-moving objects so I could practice focusing the two new lenses. I practice because, if there is tornado or other important subject, I want to be able to get the shot quickly without thinking.
By coincidence, the very first photos I took were of a BNSF Railway (the railroad that is subject of the editorial) coal train! Here they are, more commentary below:
This track sees at least one coal train every single day! Yet, no coal dust. Zero. Zip.
To further demonstrate my point, here is a telephoto lens image taken down the length of the train. Even though the lens exaggerates these effects, you still don't see any coal dust.
|Note: There are two locomotives at the end of the train pushing it (pictured|
above) as well as the locomotives at the front of the train pulling it.
The spraying of the coal loads has worked very well to limit the amount of dust. Case closed.