Letter: Train danger – Great Falls Tribune, March 21, 2013

March 26, 2013

Categories: Coal, Letters


Recently, I sat in my car, peering south toward Mount Helena watching the sunset. I was held up on Benton as a westbound train barreled by. It is unfair to say just the train held me up, as there were more than a dozen cars ahead of me. Checking my side view showed just as many parked behind me backing up traffic all the way onto Custer. I cross these tracks at least twice daily. Sitting there, it hit me.

I realized how far-reaching the detriment of Otter Creek’s coal could be. I do not make it to Bighorn Canyon as often since moving from Billings, but southeast Montana’s serene beauty stays with me. It would be a shame to let the Tongue River Railroad disrupt everything in its path, ripping through ranches and private property, taking away from one of our state’s treasures. And that is just the beginning. How many trains would pass by our communities? Imagine the noise, overloaded railways, pollution and jamming of traffic by the effective severing of our towns. This cannot be accepted.

The economic costs are clear and the threats to the health of our communities are very real.

Who stands to gain from this coal production? Certainly not every town between Otter Creek and the Idaho border and definitely not Montana communities — these are coal exports. Consider the consequences. Call your elected officials, draft letters and let them know Otter Creek is not OK.

Thor Kasenko

220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154