BNSF Assistant Director-Advanced Energy Innovation James Taylor received the 2022 Environmental Excellence Award from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) on Nov. 2.
The award is “the industry’s highest honor for environmental professionals,” according to AAR, which presented it during the Railroad Environmental Conference in Champaign, Ill.
Taylor has served BNSF for more than six years. He works largely in the field, directly engaging with employees “to develop and deploy cutting-edge solutions that are both effective and efficient to meet both the railroad’s operational needs and advance sustainability,” according to AAR.
Taylor is involved in the design planning and execution phases of the programs he leads, including the main line testing of a high-horsepower, zero-emission battery-electric locomotive. His team was also responsible for the full conversion of BNSF’s Stockton, Calif., yard hostler fleet from diesel to zero-emissions, battery-electric technology; installation and testing of lithium-ion locomotive starter batteries that reduce idling and decrease fuel consumption; launching the electrification of their on-road, light-duty vehicle fleet; and the installation of more efficient LED yard lighting at over 30 facilities across the network, AAR said.
Six other railroaders, in addition to Taylor, were nominated for the award. They were:
- Nick Pryor, Environmental Project Manager, Kansas City Southern
- Michael Linder, Western Regional Manager, Field Operations, CN
- Mike Mendoza, Senior Engineer, Environmental, CSX
- Troy Carpenter, Regional Manager Environmental Operations, Norfolk Southern
- Dina Ledbetter, Senior Environmental Specialist, Amtrak
- Kevin Peterburs, Senior Manager, Site Remediation, Union Pacific
In related developments, AAR in July announced that NS Director of Fuel Efficiency Jamie Helmer received the John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence Award, which is presented annually in honor of the late Rhode Island senator, an advocate for environmental causes and the eco-friendly benefits of rail transportation.