The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Joe Csizmazia

The coal dust express

Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

About 8:20 a.m. on Sunday, July 21, I was about to enter Washington Highway 14 from Cook-Underwood Road. Before I turned, I looked east and saw a black, menacing tornado-like cloud moving towards me. I didn’t know what it was at first, but as it drew closer, I realized it was a coal train headed west on the tracks that closely parallel Highway 14 through the narrow Columbia River Gorge. The fast-moving railcars loaded with coal and the reported 25- to 30-mile per hour southwest winds created a forceful energy to lift large globs of coal dust from the loaded railcars into the air, obscuring visibility on the adjacent highway and rendering driving dangerous. It took some ti...

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