Reuters. Peru’s Ferrocarril Central Andino (FCCA) officially unveiled what it calls the world’s first CNG-powered train on Thursday.
The cargo and passenger train, which runs along the world’s highest railway at 16,076 feet (4,900 meters) above sea level in Peru’s central Andes, will switch from diesel to run on two CNG engines designed by General Electric.
Ferrocarril Central Andino, 82% owned by Peruvian capital and 18% owned by US-based Railroad Development Corp. (RDC), has operated the line between Lima and the central Huancayo region since 1999. The company says it plans to convert all eight engines in its fleet to CNG from diesel in the next seven months.
The engines, which had been under test for some time and as described in Latin Tracks in 2004 are dual-fuel capable, with diesel as a backup for certain sections when the trains are working upgrade. A slug unit will carry the CNG tanks.
According to the EIA, Peru has proven natural gas reserves of 8.7 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), the fourth-largest amount in South America. The giant Camisea gasfield started production in August 2004, and Peru hopes to become a net energy exporter with gas sales to mexico form 2009.
GE, as part of its ecomagination campaign (earlier post), is working on a number of rail enhancements, including a diesel-electric hybrid locomotive.
(A hat-tip to Joe K.!)