Myth Buster: The Truth About Freight Rail in Washington State

do a little fact checking – and myth busting — on the state of Washington and its continued denouncement of freight rail.

As the backbone of our state’s trade-dependent economy, you would think freight rail would be touted as the vital service it really is. Locomotives are four times as efficient as semi-trucks. Just ONE freight train takes the equivalent of 280 trucks off the road.

Yet, when Cowlitz County and the state Department of Health released its recent Health Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, the state suddenly changed its tune on freight rail. The report was filled with inaccuracies, and was based on flawed data sources.

KWC did a deeper dive on the data in our new fact sheet, “Washington’s Cycle of Misinformation on Rail Continues.”  It’s clear regulators are demonizing freight rail because the commodity in question on this project is coal.

Read how the state’s faulty data analysis, blatant disregard for established protocols, and outright misrepresentations of rail, call their facts into question the state’s motives behind this study. If freight rail is the workhorse of our state’s trade based economy, — and touted as such by the state itself — why is it good enough for all of the other agricultural commodities and aerospace parts that ship through Washington state, but not Millennium Bulk Terminals?