Seattle rally to highlight coal train concerns Sat. afternoon

Seattle rally to highlight coal train concerns Sat. afternoon
This March 7, 2012 photo shows a coal train passing the North 27th Street intersection in downtown Billings, Mont. Opponents of the coal industry's ambitious Asian export plans say a projected spike in cargo trains passing through the Northwest could tie up existing rail lines, spew coal dust across several states and force communities to help cover billions of dollars in improvements. (AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Casey Page)
SEATTLE (AP) - The Sierra Club is organizing a rally on Seattle's waterfront Saturday to highlight concerns local business leaders have about plans for new coal trains along Puget Sound.

Trains already carry coal from the Rocky Mountains through Washington state for export through British Columbia, but proposals for five more ports would ship as much as 140 millions of tons of coal a year from Montana and Wyoming.

The tracks through Seattle run between the waterfront and Pike Place Market, and the business owners say the increased train traffic would increase traffic congestion and make it harder to get to the waterfront. Among those attending the rally, scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. near the Seattle Aquarium, are Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, State Rep. Reuven Carlyle, Pier 57 and Great Wheel owner Kyle Griffith, and Cary Moon, co-founder of People's Waterfront Coalition.

McGinn previously joined other city and tribal leaders in forming a coalition to oppose the coal trains.