Idling, noisy trains are a neighborhood nuisance

While I appreciate the City Council trying to remedy the stuck railroad crossing gates, how about addressing another railway issue at hand: recent idling trains in the North Park neighborhood near downtown Kent?

As I write this, I am listening to an idling train that has been parked out in front of our house for more than 120 hours – over five days – engines idling, hissing and rumbling.

My family and I knew this going into buying our home near the train tracks. We knew we’d be subjected to the passing Sounder and Amtrak trains and occasionally a bustling freight train. But never in my eight years here have I experience such a disturbance and nuisance from a parked BNSF train.

In 2014, we were averaging about four to five “parked” trains out front per month. Since October 2016, that average has increased to at least two “parked” trains a day, most of which stay anywhere between one hour, eight hours, to 20-plus hours and beyond.

We’ve been told this part of downtown Kent is considered a “train yard,” but next to residential homes and future senior apartments? What about the current train yards to the north of us in Seattle and the expansive train yard in Auburn?

Does leaving a train engine on for 120-plus hours straight make sense ecologically and financially, and is it worth the sanity of residents in the North Park neighborhood?

When will this stop?

– Jaime Massie

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