SEATTLE -- The Sightline Institute has taken predictions of traffic delays by increased oil and coal trains a little farther down the track.
In a new report, Sightline predicted that based on industry estimates traffic in King County could suffer two to three hours in delays from additional train crossings on streets and highways.
Proposals for a new coal export terminal in Whatcom County and plans for more crude oil shipments from North Dakota to Washington state refineries are expected to dramatically increase train traffic.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad officials objected to the claim, saying there is no way to predict the delays. A spokeswoman said the oil and coal cars could be taken over alternative routes like Stevens Pass and said the number of trains will depend on future demand for fossil fuels.
Sightline officials said they have studied every intersection on the primary route through Idaho and Washington and that the numbers don’t lie.