Friday, April 27, 2012

UP’s Michael Iden is AAR’s Chafee Award recipient

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Union Pacific General Director Car and Locomotive Engineering Michael Iden, Chicago, Ill., has been awarded the 2012 John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence Award by the Association of American Railroads.

A 38-year veteran of the railroad industry, Iden “has helped pioneer over 40 new fuel efficiency improvement and emissions reduction technologies, from battery technology in locomotives to reducing friction on rails and aerodynamic drag from doublestack trains,” AAR noted. “Iden has played a key role in the development of emissions reduction technologies like ultra-low emitting locomotives, which at UP have reduced fuel consumption by 5.8 million gallons and eliminated 1,670 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), 55 tons of particulate matter (PM), and 65,500 tons of CO2. Iden’s work with Distributed Power on longer trains resulted in a 20% improvement in locomotive productivity, while testing he did with older locomotives on coal trains led to a 20% increase in locomotive productivity and fuel improvements. Today, due in large part to Iden’s efforts, more than 65% of UP's total freight train work is now produced using distributed power.”

In addition to Iden, five other railroaders were nominated for the Award:

Keith Ebbeskotte, a work equipment plant manager with CSX Transportation in Richmond, Va. A 37-year veteran of the railroad industry, he has reduced CSX’s carbon and emissions footprint through the introduction of Tier 3 engines in all new and rebuilt equipment. Ebbeskotte also has reduced hazardous waste at the facility, and has developed programs to recycle 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 11,000 gallons of hydraulic oil, 675 gallons of engine oil, 1,000 gallons of antifreeze, and more than 100 batteries annually.

Michael Hartung, a mechanical supervisor with Norfolk Southern in Roanoke, Va. In addition to his regular duties, he ensures the NS locomotive shop is in compliance with environmental and regulations. Hartung is a lead environmental trainer for employees and manages all wastes, air emissions, pollution prevention, and petroleum storage. He also developed an environmental tracking program that has been used as a model for other shops, and took a boiler maintainer course on his own initiative so that he could perform repairs and environmental upgrades on the shop’s steam boiler, making the boiler more reliable and his facility more productive.

Robert Jones, a 35-year rail employee, and senior director utilities management with Amtrak in Philadelphia, Pa. In 2010, he planned and implemented the shutdown of the central steam plant at Amtrak’s Chicago Yard, reducing natural gas usage by 534,102 therms without sacrificing productivity. Jones recently led two initiatives to implement energy efficient lighting systems and to reduce natural gas usage system wide, and developed plans for Amtrak’s first ever Energy Reduction Goal. His initiatives have saved 4.5 million therms of natural gas and 3.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity while cutting 49.3 million pounds of CO2.

Jim (“JP”) Langan, signal supervisor with BNSF in Kansas City, Kan. After joining BNSF in 2003, he noticed unusually large quantities of hydraulic fluid for skate retarders being purchased at his freight yard. Langan worked on his own time to identify the cause of a hydraulic fluid leak, and designed a custom made retro-fit that sealed the leak point, improving efficiency and conserving fuel. He then designed a system to collect hydraulic fluid from potential future leaks.

Richard McFadyen, director of corporate facilities at CN in Montreal. A 35-year rail veteran, he implemented an energy management system across the CN network, making it possible to identify and manage problem areas in real time. McFadyen also initiated an energy review of all shops and introduced a lighting replacement effort to conserve electricity. McFadyen introduced the use of geo-thermal heating in buildings as well as carpets emitting reduced levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds).