University Relations and Communications

Event focuses on increase in coal train traffic through Billings

March 2, 2012



Dr. Walt Gulick, 657-2904
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Coal trains are a way of life in Billings. But if more coal is mined in Eastern Montana and moved west to market, the economic, environmental and community impacts will need to be addressed.


That’s the thrust of a two-day conference at Montana State University Billings on March 9-10 on coal train traffic through Billings. The conference is free and open to anyone. The discussions will begin at 8:30 a.m. both days at the Student Union Building ballroom.


Called “The Coal Export Conversation: Billings and Coal Trains” the event is being put together by the Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council, the Downtown Billings Alliance, and the MSU Billings Urban Institute. The project is also funded in part by a grant from Humanities Montana, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


It will bring together economists, business experts, city officials, healthcare experts and concerned citizens to discuss the planned increase in coal train traffic through Billings and the impact it would have.


Organizers say the goal is to have discussions on possible solutions to anticipated traffic, health, and safety problems that might result from more coal trains. There will be brainstorming sessions and panel discussions about potential opportunities for Billings as well as business and community impacts on both sides of the tracks.


For more information, contact Dr. Walt Gulick, an emeritus professor of philosophy at MSU Billings at or Rose at the Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council at 248-1154. 


A brochure is attached with more details on the panel discussions and the agenda.