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Spanish trio prepare pilot test for LNG-powered locomotives

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LNG Industry,

Enagás, Renfe and Gas Natural Fenosa have announced that, in collaboration with Institut Cerdà, ARMF and Bureau Veritas, they are currently preparing the first pilot test for LNG-powered locomotives in Europe, and the first in the world for passenger rail transport.

The test will help to verify the feasibility of the solution, and will assess the relevant legal, technical, economic and environment analysis for the Spanish and European rail network. It will from part of the Strategy for the Promotion of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) in Spain 2014 – 2020, in line with the purpose and scope of Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in Europe.

The project will be coordinated by Institut Cerdà and will involve ARMF as the rail integrator, and Bureau Veritas as the specialist inspection and certification company.

The test will involve an LNG-powered locomotive travelling from the Feve diesel train depot (2600) along a 20 km section between the Trubia and Baiña stations, extending to Figaredo, in Asturias. For this purpose, a natural gas-powered engine will replace the diesel engine on one of the two paired locomotive units. In addition to this, LNG storage tanks and other necessary auxiliary equipment will be fitted.

This test will enable the diesel and gas engines to be compared, given that a locomotive running on each type of fuel will be used on the same train. It will also clarify space, weight and refrigeration requirements, as well as well draw conclusions on emissions and operating economy.

Enagás, Renfe and Gas Natural Fenosa also claim that they are considering presenting a second phase of the project for the CEF European funding, intended to support the financing and subsidising of innovation projects related to the environmental improvement of transport systems located along the core European rail network corridors.

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