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Helena Officials Concerned About Coal Trains

Burlington Northern Train
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Helena City Commission plans a public hearing Monday about asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine potential problems with an increased number of coal trains traveling through the city.

The Independent record reports that about 15 trains a day go through now but that could increase if more coal is shipped to the West Coast to be sent to other countries.

City leaders are concerned more trains going over tracks that bisect eight streets could cause delays for drivers and harm air quality as a result of the trains as well as increased idling of waiting cars and trucks. Officials are also concerned about train horns.

Mayor Jim Smith and Commissioner Dan Ellison say the city would be better off approaching railway operators directly.

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