EcoChampion Jules Chalifoux
MAR 04, 2024

CN Intermodal Teams Work Together to Save Fuel and Money

EcoChampion Jules Chalifoux

Aging equipment can be costly to replace. Sometimes, a little creative thinking can go a long way toward finding a sustainable, efficient, money-saving solution. This was the case when EcoChampion Jules Chalifoux and his team collaborated to overhaul 30 Intermodal Powerpacks genset containers.

“A genset container is a generator we put on the railcar to bring power to 17 refrigerated containers we use to carry meat, pharmaceutical products or anything that must be kept at controlled temperatures,” explains Jules, Regional Manager, Intermodal Maintenance.

Instead of purchasing new gensets, Jules worked with the Intermodal teams in Taschereau and Brampton – including Asset Officer of IM Network Operations Rhonda Leavey, Maintenance & Reliability Engineer Louis Poirier and IM Lead Hand Mechanic Nicolas Guerin – to devise a strategic plan that extends the life of their gensets and avoids waste that started in May 2022.

“We decided to give our equipment a second life by removing all the old components from the interior and replacing them with a new engine, new generator, new wiring and a new fire suppression system,” says Jules.

The containers also underwent cleaning and some body repair. Each new generator can now power up to 17 reefers, providing 30% more fuel efficiency than using conventional clip-on generators.

Once Rhonda located the genset in the system, CNTL helped move them to the Montreal terminal so they could be overhauled, reports Jules. The team also ran a fuel recovery process, making sure nothing in the old tanks went to waste. Other older gensets still in service were filled with the 150,000 recovered litres, saving on fuel costs.

The last overhauled genset was delivered to CN in early March 2023. Jules says the refurbished gensets are safer and more reliable than the aging ones, and the project boosted morale in both yards. “This project was a source of pride for everyone involved,” he says. “There was great teamwork, and everyone who participated made this project successful.”

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