CSX Corporation and GE Transportation will explore emissions-cutting and efficiency breakthroughs in liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology for locomotives beginning with a pilot program in 2014.
LNG technology has the potential to offer one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel in the 1950s. That change took many years to complete and began with a lot of unknowns, and this one is no different. GE Transportation has the know-how to provide the right LNG solution for our locomotive fleet and help us better understand the feasibility of LNG technology from a safety, operations and economic perspective.—Oscar Munoz, executive vice president and chief operating officer, CSX Corporation
GE has been testing low-pressure natural gas technology since 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 kits enable existing Evolution Series locomotives to operate with dual fuel capabilities. This gives railroads flexibility to run on both diesel fuel and liquid natural gas (LNG) with up to 80% gas substitution as well as run 100% diesel.
GE has been testing this low-pressure natural gas technology since spring of 2013, and is working closely with its Class 1 partners for further field testing. The use of liquid natural gas (LNG), which is cryogenically stored in a tender in the consist, provides enough fuel for a fully-loaded train to travel longer distances without refueling stops. An Evolution Series locomotive equipped with the NextFuel Natural Gas Retrofit Kit meets US EPA Tier 3 emission standards.
GE is also working with the BNSF on a pilot program to test the use of natural gas as a fuel source for locomotives.
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 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, and will work closely with key stakeholders and agencies across government to ensure safety, realize environmental and other benefits, and advance LNG deployment.
Locomotives are at an inflection point in balancing engine performance with efficiency and adherence to emissions standards.—Russell Stokes, CEO, GE Transportation