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Profile: LRIW 'Outstanding Woman of the Year' — Union Pacific's Lupe Valdez

In her more than 20-year career, Lupe Valdez has worked for a non-profit group, two transit authorities and an environmental agency. The public relations professional's stints with the four organizations taught her about nonprofit management; transportation planning and construction; environmental laws, regulations and processes; air quality issues; and "Railroading 101."

Since joining Union Pacific Railroad five years ago as director of public affairs for the southern California region, Valdez has put every one of her experiences to good use.

"I thought these were just little pieces of what I'd done," she says. "I never imagined they would come together."

In her current position, Valdez serves as a liaison between North America's largest Class I and the communities in one of the country's most densely populated regions. She helps residents and elected officials understand what the railroad does and why; addresses railroad-related concerns; and relays those concerns to UP execs.

Read the full article at progressiverailroading.com.

Gov. Schwarzenegger Tours BNSF Railway's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Switch Locomotive

January 28, 2010:  Elizabeth Warren, executive director of FuturePorts, attended the press conference at the BNSF Hobart Intermodal Rail Yard in the City of Commerce on Thursday morning.  She was also part of a contingent of industry representatives that toured the Alameda Corridor on passenger cars.  Click here for the text of the Governor's speech.

For more information, go to www.bnsf.com.

Hydrogen-powered locomotive rolls into San Pedro

By Donna Littlejohn Staff Writer
Posted: 01/28/2010 06:38:13 PM PST

An experimental, hydrogen fuel cell switch locomotive rolled into San Pedro on Thursday after an unveiling in the City of Commerce.

BNSF Railway, through a partnership with the U.S. Defense Department, built the prototype locomotive powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. It is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.

Hydrogen is among the clean technologies being explored as a cleaner way to move goods.

The locomotive is not dependent on oil for fuel and could serve as a mobile backup power source for military and civilian disaster relief efforts.

After speeches in the City of Commerce, dignitaries rode in passenger cars linked to the locomotive south to the Port of Los Angeles, passing by Ports O' Call Village and the Los Angeles Maritime Museum.

California Governor Visits Commerce Mechanical Facility Gov. Schwarzenegger visits BNSF


BNSF hosted California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Commerce Mechanical Facility during an event on Thursday, Jan. 28. Matt Rose, BNSF chairman, president and chief executive officer, introduced the governor and met with city and state officials also in attendance. The event highlighted many of BNSF's locomotive technologies, ranging from one of the new diesel-electric road units to the experimental hydrogen fuel cell switch locomotive.

"Through a unique partnership with California, the railroads have embarked on an aggressive program to substantially reduce emissions from locomotives and rail yards. California communities are breathing cleaner air as a result of this cooperative relationship," Rose said.

BNSF and Vehicle Projects developed the experimental hydrogen fuel cell switch locomotive at BNSF facilities in Topeka, Kan. The experimental switch locomotive has the potential to reduce air pollution, is not dependent on oil for fuel, and could serve as a mobile backup power source for military and civilian disaster relief efforts. The U.S. Army, and, by extension, the U.S. Department of Defense, also are partners in development of the locomotive.

"We also have been testing many ultra-low emitting locomotives in the last few years to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency, including GenSet locomotives, liquid natural gas locomotives, SmartBurn locomotives and battery hybrid locomotive technologies," Rose said.

Speaking specifically about California operations, Rose pointed out that on a typical day, BNSF operates more than 75 freight trains in the Los Angeles Basin, many on tracks BNSF shares with Amtrak and Metrolink.

"Gov. Schwarzenegger and his administration understand the benefits of rail and have worked cooperatively with us to build upon the environmental advantages of rail to help reduce emissions and improve air quality," Rose said.


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