A solar-powered blue light approved for use on Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, received its proof-testing last winter at Superior.

Blue lights and blue flags warn others to stay off a track where personnel could be working on cars or locomotives.

“People at Superior conducting the test wanted to see if the lights could withstand Superior’s sub-zero temperatures. Winter frequently leaves conventional lanterns dead in only a few hours”, said Dan Thompson, safety assistant. “It passed with flying (blue) colors”.

Designed to meet blue light specifications required by the Federal Railway Administration, the blue light tested was easily displayed and did not require maintenance or servicing.

“It became a nice alternative,” Thompson said.

Carmanah Technologies of Vancouver, British Columbia says the $165 light will last up to five years. Conventional blue lights sell for $35 to $55. The Carmanah Technologies light, which Thompson deemed indestructible, can be either permanently mounted on a metal stand or applied to a car or locomotive with a magnet. Superior deploys three such devices, two used at the roundhouse, the other by the carmen in the yard, Thompson said.

Carmanah Technologies Inc., 877-722-8877, specializes in the design, manufacture and supply of lighting devices for the railway industry.

Thompson thanked Ron Hennessey, director safety mechanical, for spearheading approval of the devices now available through BNSF SourceNet.