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8/14/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF rolls out recognition program to honor employees' fuel-conserving efforts




Because diesel prices continue to climb, Burlington Northern Santa Fe is searching for ways to reduce fuel usage. The railroad's found one: encourage workers to follow and improve fuel-conservation practices. To reward those efforts, BNSF is rolling out a recognition program for transportation and mechanical employees.

Road foremen and mechanical supervisors will distribute recognition cards and lapel pins with the slogan "Saving Fuel: Its in Our Hands" to employees who perform fuel-conserving actions.

For mechanical workers, such actions include shutting down locomotives to reduce idling; inspecting flange lubrication systems; fine-tuning locomotives to ensure operating condition; establishing a work team's fuel-conservation protocol; leading briefings on conservation procedures; and developing new conservation ideas.

For transportation employees, actions include shutting down or isolating locomotives in a consist; coasting when possible; eliminating power braking and reducing stretch braking; pacing a train to smooth speed; and shutting down yard/switch engine consists that idle more than an hour.

"We recognize that many employees are doing all the right things when it comes to fuel conservation," said Jeff Wright, BNSF assistant vice president of locomotive utilization, in a prepared statement. "The point of this program is to recognize those people who show a willingness to do their part in conserving our nation's and our company's resources."

BNSF also is implementing a recognition program for locomotive engineers who demonstrate exceptional fuel-saving train-handling skills. Each quarter, road foremen will identify "top" and "most improved" engineers in each of BNSF's 13 divisions. Winners receive a special letter of commendation and other recognition.




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