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Union Pacific Corporation : Railroad Industry Bestows Union Pacific Employee, Sen. Tom Udall with Annual Environmental Stewardship Awards

04/25/2012 | 07:02pm US/Eastern

Original press release submitted by the Association of American Railroads

Washington, D.C., April 25, 2012- The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today announced Michael Iden, a Union Pacific (UP) employee from Chicago, Ill., has been awarded the 2012 John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence Award.  U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) also was honored with the 2012 John H. Chafee Congressional Environmental Award. Named after the late Senator from Rhode Island - a strong advocate for conservation and environmental causes who appreciated the environmental advantages of rail transportation - the Chafee awards recognize a railroad employee and a member of Congress who have demonstrated the highest level of environmental stewardship.

"Railroads and their employees strive every day to be excellent stewards of our nation's environment. Our 2012 Chafee award winners both embody the same dedication and I am pleased to bestow on them the industry's top environmental honors today," said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger.

In his home state of New Mexico, Sen. Udall worked to pass some of the state's first environmental laws. He has continued that work in Washington by promoting policies to protect our natural resources, improve air quality and clean up hazardous waste.

As a 38-year veteran of the railroad industry and general director of car and locomotive engineering at UP, 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 double stack trains. 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 percent improvement in locomotive productivity while testing he did with older locomotives on coal trains lead to a 20 percent increase in locomotive productivity and fuel improvements. Today, due in large part to Iden's efforts, more than 65 percent 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. Below is a brief description of the nominees, with in-depth profiles available on the AAR site.

Keith Ebbeskotte - is a work equipment plant manager with CSX Transportation (CSX) 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 - is a mechanical supervisor with Norfolk Southern (NS) Railway 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, is 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 - is signal supervisor with BNSF Railway (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 - is director of corporate facilities at Canadian National Railway (CN) in Montreal, Canada. 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).

About the AAR

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world's leading railroad policy, research and technology organization. AAR members include the major freight railroads, or Class I railroads, of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. For more information, visit www.aar.org.

For more information contact: AAR Communications, Holly Arthur, harthur@aar.org, (202) 639-2344.

About Union Pacific

It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

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