President Hahs helps dedicate environmentally friendly locomotives at PHL

BLET National President Don Hahs helped the Pacific Harbor Line launch its new fleet of environmentally friendly switching locomotives at ceremonies in Long Beach, Calif., on July 18.

By year-end, Pacific Harbor Line's locomotive fleet will be replaced by 16 remanufactured diesel-electric units that exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's most stringent "Tier 2" standards to reduce air pollutants. This will make PHL the most environmentally friendly switching railroad in the nation.

Port, state and city officials - including the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach - joined President Hahs and PHL President Andrew Fox to celebrate delivery of the first four locomotives and to congratulate the railroad for transforming its entire locomotive fleet.

Railroads BNSF, UP and PHL move annually close to 2 million containers directly from and to the docks at these ports. In doing so, they eliminate over 10,000 truck-trips per day.

"The work to move those 2 million containers is done by the dedicated and professional members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen," President Hahs said during his speech. "I thank Local Chairman Lyle Gibson here for the excellent job he does in representing our members in Division No. 214 at the Pacific Harbor Line."

PHL does much of the railroad work on the docks in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

"On start-up in 1998 PHL initially employed some 17 operating employees," President Hahs said. "These hard working employees continue to enable these Ports to grow and deserve much of the credit. They move a lot of Rail traffic with a few good people. The BLET, as union representative of operating employees on PHL and engineers on BNSF and UP, is very pleased that PHL has acquired these new low-emission locomotives."

Scientific tests have shown that exposure to diesel exhaust can be harmful to humans.

"By using low-emission locomotives, the Pacific Harbor Line is not only helping the environment, but is helping its workers, too," President Hahs said. "It is expected that these new low-emission locomotives will help make the workplace cleaner for our BLET locomotive engineers and trainmen."

Following the ceremony, President Hahs met with Local Chairman Gibson to discuss the new locomotives and other issues of importance to the BLET and the members of Division 214.

From left to right and up the stairs in front of 62: Andrew Fox, President, PHL; Billie Greer, Office of Gov. Schwarzenegger; Richard Steinke, Executive Director, Port of Long Beach; Dr. Mike Walter, Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner; Bonnie Lowenthal, Vice Mayor, City of Long Beach; Tonia Reyes Uranga, Councilwoman, City of Long Beach on first step; Bob Foster, Mayor, City of Long Beach on second step; James Hankla, Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner on third step; Dee Andrews, Councilmember, City of Long Beach on nose platform; John Hancock, Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioner on nose platform; and Engineer Geoff Maits (in the cab), a member of BLET Division 214.

In front of 63: Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor, Los Angeles on first step; Janice Hahn, Councilwoman 15th District, Los Angeles; S. David Freeman, President, Board of Harbor Commissioners, Port of Los Angeles; Peter Gilbertson, Chairman, PHL; and Don Hahs, BLET National President.

 

 

© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen