LNG rail coming soon. A one way trip between Chicago and LA no stops for refuel using LNG
Coming to Railroads soon: Natural gas locomotives
An oil train on the BNSF Railway line passes by the intersection of Broad Street and Alaskan way near Pier 70.
Soon old-school diesel locomotives could be replaced by ones powered mainly by liquified natural gas.
GE Transportation presented retrofit technology that enables locomotives to use both diesel and liquid natural gas at Railway Interchange 2013, the North American rail industry’s largest trade show and technical conference, the International Railway Journal reported.
The system allows up to 80 percent natural gas substitution. The LNG is cryogenically stored in a tender and enables trains to travel further without refueling.
New LNG powered locomotives will allow many industry players to meet stringent Tier 4 locomotive emissions standards set to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, Railway Age magazine reported.
Using LNG as a locomotive fuel could also be a huge economic advantage for the industry, "the next big opportunity for taking cost out of our operations,” BNSF Railway chief executive Matt Rose said in the Railway Age article.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes with LNG, and so far the railroads and their suppliers and consultants have been a bit tight-lipped about their efforts. But, the relative silence promises to be broken in the near future, as BNSF races ahead with a project to test three EMD and three GE LNG-fueled locomotives for one year.