Piloting LNG Locomotive Technology
CSX, GE Transportation focus on reducing emissions, fuel costs; field tests in 2014
CSX Corp. and GE Transportation, a division of GE, announced an agreement to explore emissions-cutting and efficiency breakthroughs in liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology for locomotives beginning with a pilot program in 2014.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A., is a transportation company that provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products.
LNG-fueled locomotives can travel longer distances without refueling stops, provide environmental and economic benefits, and make freight rail an even more attractive transportation solution by absorbing traffic from U.S. highways in an environmentally efficient way, the company said.
GE said it has been testing low-pressure natural gas technology since the spring of 2013 and is working closely with CSX and other Class 1 partners. Field tests are expected to begin in 2014. GE’s NextFuel natural gas retrofit kits allow railroads to use natural gas as a fuel source, reducing emissions and potentially reducing fuel costs while not compromising performance. An Evolution Series locomotive equipped with the NextFuel natural gas retrofit kit meets US EPA Tier 3 emission standards, the company said.
CSX will be working over the next few months to develop a test plan and secure regulatory concurrence, while GE Transportation will deploy its NextFuel kits that enable existing Evolution Series locomotives to operate with dual-fuel capabilities. CSX and GE will also work on the continued development of LNG technology for other classes of locomotives to promote gains across a larger portion of the CSX locomotive fleet the company said.