Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Train Pollution: Open-top Coal Hopper Cars Foul Countryside with Coal Dust; Amount at Least Equal to Pollution from Locomotives.

Of course, it's the locomotives that emit all the pollution of a regular freight train.

Study finds coal trains emit nearly twice the pollution as freight trains

UW study in the Columbia River Gorge also finds 1 in 20 coal trains is a “superduster.”

Hat tip to dtlange at Robertscribbler.

Coal trains emit nearly double the amount of pollution compared to freight trains, according to a report released by the University of Washington today. The results of the study confirm what Gorge landowners, tribal fishers, and recreationists have observed firsthand over the past several years: coal dust and debris blowing off of open-topped coal cars is polluting parks, agricultural lands, and waterways like the Columbia River. A team of scientists led by Dr. Dan Jaffe, professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry at the University of Washington, performed the study in the Columbia River Gorge during the summer of 2014.

The University of Washington press release issued today states that diesel-powered coal trains and freight trains pass through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area on a regular basis and that “new research data shows negative impacts on air quality that present health risks.”

The study concluded that every coal train pollutes the atmosphere with coal dust. The data shows that coal trains emit an average of twice the concentration of tiny particles of pollution compared to freight trains. The study examined emissions of diesel particulate matter and coal dust from 293 freight trains and 74 coal trains over a two-month period – on tracks adjacent to the Columbia River.
If any model railroaders out there want to model this pollution, the article links two videos featuring coal trains. Now I wonder how it will even be possible to model all that active coal dust pollution and not just the stuf laying on the ground after it all settles?

For more information including the two videos, click here and here.

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