Move coal by rail, not road

Coal from the Raven Coal initiative should be moved by rail not by road, one reader says.

To the Editor,

In response to a recent online article quoting the new CEO of Raven Coal on fears the public might have of a coal train running through the community. Please allow me to remind Stephen Ellis that his predecessor committed numerous times in writing and at public forums to explore and use the rail option if the communities wanted it and the railway was available for use.

Research completed at vifreightbyrail.ca indicates rail transport would be four times more efficient in fuel consumption and thus emissions. It would take 18 train loads, just one a day, to fill a Panamax ship versus 1,786 truck loads, 70 a day, on Highway 4. That adds up to more than 28,000 truck trips per year to satisfy the mine’s production.

Considering a great number of people commute on Highways 4 and 19 north I suspect they especially would be very concerned about Mr. Ellis’s dismissal of their safety, not to mention the cost to the taxpayer for road maintenance vs. the company paying their way on the railway.

Chris Alemany,

Port Alberni