GE Transportation and CSX have agreed to explore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) technology for locomotives beginning with a pilot program in 2014. Using LNG to fuel trains cuts emissions and increases efficiency, the partners say.
Natural gas-fueled locomotives can travel longer distances without refueling stops, as well as provide environmental and economic benefits, the companies say.
GE has been testing low-pressure natural gas technology since the spring and is working closely with CSX and other Class 1 partners. Field tests are expected to begin in 2014.
GE’s NextFuel kits allow railroads to use natural gas as a fuel source, reducing emissions and potentially reducing fuel costs. An Evolution Series locomotive equipped with the NextFuel Natural Gas Retrofit Kit (pictured) meets the EPA’s Tier 3 emission standards.
CSX will be working over the next few months to develop a test plan and secure regulatory concurrence. For CSX, GE Transportation will deploy its new NextFuel Natural Gas Retrofit Kits that enable existing Evolution Series locomotives to operate with dual fuel capabilities.
CSX and GE say they will also work on the continued development of LNG technology for other classes of locomotives and will work with stakeholders and government agencies to help advance LNG deployment.
In September, GE said its next-generation freight locomotive meets the EPA’s stringent Tier 4 emission standards without requiring any type of aftertreatment — an industry first, according to the company.
In other LNG news, Clean Energy Fuels has announced a multi-year bulk fueling agreement to supply LNG to two private UPS stations located in Mesquite and Houston, Texas. Under a separate agreement with UPS, Clean Energy will open three of its America’s Natural Gas Highway stations located in Amarillo, Mesquite and San Antonio, Texas, to support UPS’ over-the-road fleet.