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VTG and Chart to build rail tank cars to transport LNG

LNG Industry,

VTG Aktiengesellschaft is collaborating with Chart Ferox to build two prototype units for the safe and economical carriage of LNG by rail.

Through this collaboration, VTG and Chart Ferox will develop and construct Europe’s first LNG rail car prototypes.


“It is a great pleasure for us to be working with Chart Ferox for this innovative transport solution. This project scores double points in the environmental area as natural gas is a clean burning energy solution and correspondingly rail is an ecologically sound transport solution,” commented Dr. Heiko Fischer, Chairman of the Executive Board of VTG Aktiengesellschaft.

“We are very excited by the fact that we are creating an entirely new transport option for LNG, and one that reinforces Chart’s small scale LNG product portfolio,” added Miroslav Cerny, Chart Ferox Director of Business Development.

LNG railcar

VTG is responsible for the development and the final completion of the two prototypes including obtaining the necessary permissions and railway specific approval. Final assembly of the LNG railcar will take place at Waggonbau Graaff in Elze, Germany. The cryogenic parts, vessels and cabinets, will be built at Chart Ferox facility in Czech Decin.

The prototypes will be capable of transporting double the payload volume as compared to an LNG tank container or truck. Due to exceptional insulation properties, LNG rail tank car holding time is up to six weeks. A unique suspension technology between the cryogenic vessel and the undercarriage rail frame required special development, which concluded dynamic and vibration calculation tests.

Safety measures

As an additional safety measure, the wagons are fitted with 25 t wheel sets instead of the usual 22.5 t wheel sets and as an option GPS monitoring of the pressurised container. The prototypes will be completed by the end of 2014 and subsequently undergo a rigorous testing and approval process.

VTG sees a distinct potential for rail in the transport of LNG: “In addition to the profitability aspect, this is primarily also substantiated by the safety and environmental protection represented by rail transport”, concluded Fischer.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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