VICTORIA, British Columbia — Carmanah Technologies, Inc, .said it has launched the railway industry’s first line of solar-powered L.E.D. (light emitting diode) lighting products for hazard marking applications.

Designed to meet U.S. Federal Railway Administration blue light legislation, Carmanah Railway Lights can be installed in minutes and do not require any maintenance or servicing for their entire life span of up to five years, the company said.

“There is a real need for our type of product in the railway industry,” said Carmanah CEO Art Aylesworth. “Recent statistics issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that in the year 2000 there were over 1,600 yard switching accidents in the United States alone. Rail Yards are hazardous working environments and our technology offers the railway industry a new form of reliable, cost-effective blue signal protection.”

The North American railway supply market is extensive, with more than $20 billion in equipment supplies and services purchased on an annual basis. Evaluation lights and initial orders for Carmanah Railway Lights have now been shipped to many of the Class I and shortline railroad corporations, including Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and CSX Railroad, the company said.

Carmanah’s lighting offers other attractive benefits for the railway industry.

“One of the biggest advantages of our hazard markers is that they can pay for themselves within months of installation through savings in the labor costs of maintenance and servicing, as well as the replacement costs of batteries and incandescent bulbs,” Aylesworth said. “In addition, the unique, patented design of our products are also ideally suited to withstand the rigors of use in a rail yard — our 500 Series model, for example, is nearly indestructible.”