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UP's Kennedy takes home AAR's top environmental award

Yesterday, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) presented the John H. Chafee Award for Environmental Excellence to Union Pacific Railroad General Director of Fuel Consumption Wayne Kennedy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The association honored Kennedy for creating the Fuel Masters Program under which locomotive engineers’ fuel consumption is compared with fellow engineers in the same territory. UP uses a two-month snapshot of each engineer’s fuel consumption to calculate an individual average.

Using locomotive simulators, Kennedy teaches engineers techniques in acceleration and throttle modulation to conserve fuel. Each month, engineers in the top 15 to 20 percent in each territory receive personal $100 fuel cards. At 2005’s end, the program had saved UP 16 million gallons of fuel and reduced air emissions by more than 120 tons of particulate matter, 4,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 188,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

“Fuel Masters has introduced engaging, healthy competition among engineers to constantly push each other to improve their train skills in a way that also helps the environment,” said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger in a prepared statement.

The five other award nominees were: Don Brownlee, a Canadian Pacific Railway vehicle fleet manager; Kirt Flowers, an Amtrak machinist; Bennie Hines, a CSX Transportation machinist; Donald VanDierendonk, a Norfolk Southern Railway carman; and Randy Wolff, a BNSF Railway Co. road foreman of engines.

The Chafee Award is named after U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee's (R-R.I.) late father, who represented Rhode Island in the Senate for more than 20 years and promoted the environmental advantages of rail transportation. The award recognizes an individual railroad employee who has demonstrated outstanding environmental awareness and responsibility.

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More News from 4/27/2006