KFnet in T-Town

Apr. 29, 2011 at 7:24am

Coal Rolling Through Tacoma (video)

This baby stretched as far as I could see when crossing the Dock St. over pass -- from down Schuster Parkway past the 11th Street bridge. A stark reminder how much of it still powers our country.

I've seen many more of these on my drive to work in the mornings but just happened to be pacing this one the other day.

comments [16]  |  posted under coal, rail, tacoma, train


by cisserosmiley on 4/29/2011 @ 7:38am
it's one of the few things we have that china wants...but if coal might get shipped from longview to china why not from tacoma to china?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/29/2011 @ 8:04am
Washington does have one of the nation's 20 largest coal mines down near Centralia. I suspect it would not be a bad idea to ship this coal form Tacoma instead of Longview, Tacoma is just slightly closer to the mine than is Longview. Not sure who has the track in place, though.

by Jesse on 4/29/2011 @ 8:45am
Coal? Who needs coal?


Notable quote: "That $2,000,000,000,000 (in Iraq war spending)? Well, that amount of money could've built solar thermal plants here that would have provided energy for 2/3rds of our nation's energy demand."

Totally sick.

Because the trains above are on video, they almost look like toys! I would have crashed attempting video, pacing a train, and driving.

by cisserosmiley on 4/29/2011 @ 8:52am
@jesse...but boeing workers would be hurt by less defense spending

by KevinFreitas on 4/29/2011 @ 8:53am
@Crenshaw: That makes sense. There used to be a bunch of mines near Mt. Rainier and the current towns of Wilkeson and Carbonado. There are actually all kinds of sinkholes and open shafts in the woods around there causing problems for the glut of suburban development that's happened there in recent decades.

@Jesse: Couldn't agree more! I'm going to start experimenting here in Tacoma with a small, trickle-charged solar and wind system for my coast house. Since it's a weekend getaway I can use just a little solar and small turbine to charge up some batteries for the day or two at a time I'm out there.

by Jesse on 4/29/2011 @ 8:55am
If you're into sustainability, here's a great website and magazine:


by cisserosmiley on 4/29/2011 @ 9:35am
here's the tacoma dudes you should connect with, they are as colorful as they are genius

by Nick K. on 4/29/2011 @ 7:34pm
There used to be a coal mine in Renton, as well. This coal is coming from the Powder River basin in Wyoming and headed for Vancouver B.C., Roberts Bank terminal, for transport to China. There's about three or four trains daily.

In addition to Longview there's separate plans, in conjunction with BNSF, for an export facility at Cherry Point north of Bellingham. Tacoma was considered for a facility but ruled out for reasons I can't recall. It's all going to China.

The Centralia coal mine closed a few years back. As it was strictly feeding the TransAlta power plant (north of Centralia) that coal was supplemented with Wyoming coal to provide a cleaner burning mix. Today 100% comes from Wyoming. The TransAlta plant is now supposed to close in 2025 as of today.

by KevinFreitas on 4/30/2011 @ 7:33pm
Fascinating facts! Thanks @Nick!

by fredo on 4/30/2011 @ 9:43pm
The chinese send us a wonderful pagoda.
We send them a million cases of respiratory disease. Nothing says reconciliation like hacking up one of your lungs.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 4/30/2011 @ 11:30pm
More ironic, fredo, is that Americans are the ones digging up the coal for the Chinese. Maybe they will be importing us soon to build them some railroads and do some laundry for them. 100 years from now they'll have the American reconciliation pagoda or something in Beijing.

by fredo on 5/1/2011 @ 7:44am
Crenshaw that's really humorous, and I'm afraid, a bit prophetic.

Yep, pretty soon America's love affair with a slothful existence will come to an end. The people who are too fat or too lazy to get up out of their recliner chairs to change the channel from one informercial to another will embrace a new reality...washing soiled kimonos, pounding spikes and lining up at the Kommisary for a bar of soap. I wonder if they will be able to maintain all that belly fat when their diet changes from cheetos and Budweiser Ice to grasshoppers and spoiled rice. No toilet available?...no worries. Just squat over a hole and take aim.

And to think, at one time we could have taken corrective action in our own political system and preserved some opportunities for ourselves and our children.

by cisserosmiley on 5/1/2011 @ 9:01am
the only way to stop this is to send word to china imploring any and all chinese to move to Tacoma and help reconcile what we have done, we give them each a condo and a storefront dt, then hope Newchinesetacomajing will be honored in the new sino-world order

by Mofo from the Hood on 5/1/2011 @ 10:15am
The only way to discourage the Chinese from importing coal for industrial and economic and political development is to explain to them that they are contributing to global warming---I'm sure the Chinese are just unaware of their relation to the natural laws governing the planet. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

by fredo on 5/1/2011 @ 7:57pm
Once our economy gets bad enough Americans will begin burning coal ourselves. And after the coal is gone we'll burn our furniture, then our books and every other artifact of our extravagent generation. And when the fire burns down to a warm ember, then and only then will people finally ask...shouldn't we have signed Fredo's Reconciliation Pledge when we had the chance?

by dolly varden on 5/1/2011 @ 9:19pm
The coal mine in Centralia shut down several years ago, and the coal plant is shutting down by 2025 under a recent agreement.

I think much of the coal that comes through Puget Sound is Canadian, though it could be from the Powder River basin in WY and MT.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

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