Another Train problem in Montesano?


Picture of train ….just sitting there. Stretches all the way from downtown to a couple of hundred yards shy of the Devonshire Bridge.

10:00am June 7th 2014 – It is unbelievable that we have to ask these questions.  Personally, based on past experience with the train companies and the Port of Grays Harbor, I don’t trust them for accurate information as far as I can throw them.

Late last night heard unusual noise. When the light came up, this train is parked.  Lights flashing all the way to the Devonshire bridge.  Is there something wrong with the tracks ….again….up ahead?  Beats me.  All I know is that is is highly ….highly …unusual.  Cosidering the four recent derailments, we have a right to keep an eye on them.

UPDATE ABOUT 10 PM – Hearing trains move.

UPDATE: 2:00pm  Still sitting there.  odd odd odd.

6 thoughts on “Another Train problem in Montesano?

  1. We have a DUTY to keep an eye on them. If there is a place for compromise in this question, it will be in providing safe and healthy employment opportunities for all, including railroad workers, as well as public safety and a secure living environment. Finding a fair balance between competing interests is the challange, particularly when some are seeking advantage over others of us, and could care less about concepts of fairness, and equality. In my view, we all have a fight on our hands.

  2. Tom,
    “Me thinks thou doth protest too much”. Folks are going to start thinking you are sabotaging the train tracks. (just kidding)

    ED NOTE: Its nothing to kid about. But I have a real nice video home security system so you are welcome to review it. And just for the record, the train co itself said it was bad tracks. So that myth is out the window. The subtext of your comment is that I shouldn’t report train problems in the area. What do you suggest? Ignore the four derailments in under a month and not warn the people of this town that instead of grain it will soon be flammable oil…..should I ignore the 47 vaporized bodies from the recent one in Canada, or about the fireballs in Alabama, North Dakota, Virginia and more. Should we ignore the destroyed Tombigbe river area as well as the oil that poured into the Chesapeake Bar river system. Should I ignore the absolute devastation to our own waterways and dependent businesses in the event of not if….but when….a spill happens here. Should I ignore the out and out lies the authorities put out as to the safety and clean up ability? Should I ignore the expected 30% drop in property values for homeowners within a mile of those tracks?

    Not going to happen. You may be willing to ruin this county for under fifty jobs that will all go to friends and relatives of those connected down at the port. I’m not.

  3. Tom, Tom,
    Simmer down. I said I was kidding.
    I admire your tenacity in attempting to hold the railroad responsible for protecting the environment, and guaranteeing our safety.
    I’m on your side. Don’t be so touchy.

  4. I believe the following are true:

    1) Most people on The Harbor appreciate the railroads and the jobs they support. This is very important infrastructure.

    2) A growing number of people are concerned about the crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota (See Tom Fredriksen’s list of issues, including mile-wide blast zones, massive oil spills, and other disasters). Those who work at the Port also live around here, hunt and fish around here, have their kids in schools, etc. –all of which would be harmed by an oil-train explosion.

    3) Those of us who have worked for decades to bring all manner of jobs to the Harbor have our limits. There are safety, environmental, and economic down-sides to having the Bakken crude railed into the Port. Grain shipments in other areas have been delayed because of coal and oil trains. Here, we have had temporary layoffs because of engine and rail car shortages. Will the crude oil trains have the same effect on Grays Harbor? How many current jobs will be traded for the new jobs?

    4) Reasonable people can disagree reasonably. I have seen no threats or intimidation against crude oil supporters, yet a few have told the newspaper that they are intimidated against speaking out in support. One showed up at a public meeting in Elma and was treated with respect. As soon as derailments occurred, proponents of the crude oil trains made broad accusations of sabotage. Yet the rail line said they were caused by failure of the track, due to inclement weather exposure.

    5) The port commission election last year was not decided on the crude oil issue. I, like many, voted for Chuck Caldwell because he is doing a good job in bringing in jobs to the Harbor. I did not vote for his opponent, even though I agreed with his opposition to the crude oil trains. That is a single issue, and I wanted to retain a port commissioner who, along with the other two, was running the port well.

    ‘Nuff for Now.

    ED NOTE: What Dan said. I love oil! Is it too much to ask that it be transported safely? Apparently so. Or, gulp, with a clean up bond in place so the company can’t go bankrupt the next day as they are doing – leaving you and I to pay the billion or so to try and clean it up? Apparently so. This is why you never see anyone who wants this stuff to come in. They can’t and won’t answer. Including our three port commissioners. Willing to potentially ruin this county….for what? Fifty jobs? With the 30-40% drop in property values near the tracks, how many businesses are going to close up shop? A lot more than 50 jobs and everyone knows it.

    The question is why……always follow the money.

    • Oh those wonderful Port commissioners and all those great jobs they’ve created – at New Wood? nope- and the scuttlebutt about the new Pasha contact is that the Port just took what they were offered without the negotiation that would have gotten the Harbor a better deal. Caldwell “we didn’t have to have this meeting” openly shows his disdain for the public, and we have lots of time to regret the last election.


  5. This entire issue, “crude oil by rail” is becoming more despicable by the day. Even though the the same protests are made over and over and over again–warranted with scientific evidence–the decision makers have chosen to ignore this and forge ahead. The mentality of our Port Commissioners, regardless of what they have accomplished in the past, is criminal. They are putting all at risk, in all regard for the citizens of Grays Harbor. Mile and a half long trains of explosive Bakken Crude through our communities makes no sense to us. It’s as if we have to keep talking until some one listens. Is anyone listening? Is this a done deal? The evidence of the destruction these oil projects will have is clear. This estuary–The Chehalis Riiver is special, unique, one of only 4 in the United States. Our Port is located in a soil liquification zone; it is located in a tsunami zone; it borders a Wildlife Refuge: it borders a 5,000 acre NAP (Natural Area Preserve). This Port is subject to unpredictable high winds, high tides, heavy rains. This is a great risk and there will be a spill. There is not currently and cannot be adequate response when you are talking about 2.7 billion gallons per year to the Port of Grays Harbor. No one knows how to clean up this Bakken Crude. Look at Valdez. Look at the Gulf. Look at Lac Megantic. Look at North Dakota. Look at Alabama. Get a clue! These 3 crude oil projects proposed for the Port of Grays Harbor: Westway, Imperium, U.S Development promise to endanger the lives of all on the harbor, and elsewhere. Cost risk analysis is what we are talking about. The Risk here is loss of our fishing and shellfish economy, not to mention vaporized people for a paltry 50 jobs–maybe! Look what’s to lose. I guess our Port Commissioners feel the people of Grays Harbor are disposable as long as they make those profits, brag about those jobs provided and send that oil out on the barges, hoping for no collisions–(remember Galveston’s barge collision in Feb. closed their harbor for days)–who knows where this is going? While we all sit here waiting for the trains to blow and the barges to collide and the tankers to leak and list — spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil on the last wild coatline. Knowing the railroads, with the help of The Washington State Transportion Master Plan–have their ducks in row. We can’t file an injunction on the railroads without a million dollars! They don’t have to take responsibity for rail car explosions of Bakken Crude. “Go ask the people who own the oil in the rail cars,” they say. Yah, let’s call them up! What’s their number? I’m sure they would be here promptly to put Grays Harbor back together again. Not!
    Yes, you may have guessed by now–I am opposed to Crude by Rail to the Port of Grays Harbor–for all the valid & obvious reasons discussed over the last year, or more…

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