CSX Corporation and GE Transportation announced an agreement to explore liquefied natural gas technology (LNG) for locomotives that will focus on cutting emissions and making gains in efficiency. The companies will begin the process with a pilot programme in 2014.
“LNG technology has the potential to offer one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel in the 1950s,” said Oscar Munoz, CEO of CSX Corporation. “That change took many years to complete and began with a lot of unknowns, and this one is no different. But aggressively exploring this technology is consistent with CSX’s focus on tomorrow, its longstanding commitment to efficient and environmentally friendly transportation, and its role in helping to promote U.S. energy independence. GE Transportation has the know-how to provide the right LNG solution for our locomotive fleet and help us better understand the feasibility of LNG technology from a safety, operations and economic perspective.”
Environmental and economic benefits
Locomotives fuelled by natural gas are able to travel longer distances without stopping to refuel. They also provide significant environmental and economic benefits, making LNG-fuelled freight rail an even more attractive transportation solution.
“Locomotives are at an inflection point in balancing engine performance with efficiency and adherence to emissions standards,” said Russell Stokes, CEO of GE Transportation. “As we enter a new era of energy sources and what’s possible for rail transport, we are excited to partner with CSX and lead the LNG transformation for the industry.”
Reduce emissions and costs
GE began testing natural gas technology earlier this year, and is working closely with CSX and other rail partners. Field tests are expected to begin in 2014. The company’s NextFuel™ kits allow railroads to use natural gas as a fuel source, reducing emissions and potentially reducing fuel costs while leaving performance uncompromised.
For CSX, GE Transportation will deploy its new NextFuel™ Natural Gas Retrofit Kits that enable existing locomotives to operate with dual fuel capabilities. The two companies will also work on the continued development of LNG technology for other classes of locomotives, and will liaise with key government stakeholders and agencies to ensure safety, realise environmental benefits and advance the use of LNG.
Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/small-scale-lng/14112013/companies_pilot_lng_locomotives_438/