Residents suffer under black cloud of dust

JENNY Schroeder holds a blackened cloth that looks like it was used to wipe a fire place.

But she has just wiped the dust from the microwave oven on the back verandah of her Lochinvar home.

She says the job, which she does every couple of weeks, is a constant reminder of the busy rail line’s presence a few hundred metres away.

“A lot of people just don’t understand the effect of coal dust,’’ she said. ‘‘They don’t have to live with it and keep wiping it up.

“They keep saying that the money from coal is supporting the Australian economy, but there are some of us who are suffering badly for it.”

Ms Schroeder estimated the 70-wagon trains that travelled along the line every 20 minutes 14 years ago, had become 90-wagon trains travelling about every 10 minutes.

Her neighbour, Reg Mildenhall, now lives about 50 metres from the trains due the construction of the third rail line.

He said dust was a major health concern, along with the noise pollution from the constantly passing trains.

“There are two lines going to the port and another one coming back,’’ he said. ‘‘We cop the noise, the dust and smell of diesel.

“Just the velocity of the breeze coming off empty trains stirs up a heap of dust that people don’t realise.”

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