SEP 16, 2020

EcoChampions Take Energy Action in Indiana

EcoChampion Randy Hilliard is a General Mechanical Foreman at the Kirk Yard Locomotive Reliability Center (LRC) in Gary, Indiana. He and his team work in a 100-year-old roundhouse to keep Southern Region’s locomotives in peak operating condition. Much of this important maintenance work was being done in dark pits illuminated by small hanging spotlights. “The lighting was so poor,” says Randy, “the mechanics had to wear headlamps to see what they were doing, and they’d often hit their heads on the low-hanging lights.” Last summer, the team came up with some solutions. They enlisted the help of Bryan Hanson, Supervisor, Facility Maintenance, to get some funding for new lighting. They got approval to replace the pit lighting with 60 tubes that look like fluorescents but are actually LEDs. “We tested the new lights in one pit and everyone really liked the better quality lighting and improved headroom,” says Randy, “so we expanded the project to all four pits.” In keeping with the environmental principles, the team decided to reuse some of the old spotlights from the pits to improve the lighting in the locomotive wash bay.

The team intends to reuse the rest of the spotlights to brighten up other areas of the shop. “We all work as ONE TEAM here and employees were very happy to be consulted in the early stages of the project,” says Randy. “We are pleased with the result: a safer environment that is more pleasant to work in and uses less energy, too.”

CN’s EcoConnexions employee engagement program – a partnership with Earth Day Canada – drives sustainability across CN's network by empowering employees to conserve energy, reduce waste, and improve housekeeping.

Visit our "Delivering Responsibly" section to learn more about sustainability at CN.