Rail

BNSF to test LNG use in road locomotives

Posted on March 6, 2013

Freight rail company, BNSF will begin testing a small number of locomotives using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel later this year.

"The use of liquefied natural gas as an alternative fuel is a potential transformational change for our railroad and for our industry," said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF chairman/CEO. "While there are daunting technical and regulatory challenges still to be faced, this pilot project is an important first step that will allow BNSF to evaluate the technical and economic viability of the use of liquefied natural gas in through-freight service, potentially reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby providing environmental and energy security benefits to our nation."

BNSF has been working with the two principal locomotive manufacturers, GE and EMD, a unit of Caterpillar, to develop the natural gas engine technology that will be used in the pilot.

The use of natural gas as a transportation fuel results in the emission of fewer greenhouse gases and particulates than diesel fuel.

The idea of using natural gas as fuel in locomotives is not new. The former Burlington Northern used natural gas locomotives in the 1980s and 1990s. BNSF also tested LNG switch locomotives in Los Angeles until they reached the end of their useful life a few years ago.

Improved economics and technology make the use of natural gas in long-haul service more operationally feasible today. The BNSF pilot will be a first step to consider how the technology could be implemented. However, even though natural gas in long-haul service has enormous potential, several significant regulatory challenges need to be addressed.

"The changed market for natural gas in the United States is a critical part of our decision to explore it as a locomotive fuel and in this pilot we will test natural gas engine technology in railroad service," Rose added. "We will be working with the equipment manufacturers, the various regulatory agencies and government officials to address the necessary actions to accomplish this."

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Alstom debuts world's first hydrogen train entering passenger service

The zero-emission Coradia iLint, which debuted in Lower Saxony, Germany, can reach up to 140 km/h (90 mph).

WMATA announces contracting opportunity for Silver Line extension

Under the agency's plan to "Keep Metro Safe, Reliable and Affordable," the use of competitive contracting is recommended as a way to control operating and maintenance costs

Amtrak Pacifc Surfliner, MLB team up for rail safety awareness

Partners with San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and California Operation Lifesaver to highlight the importance of safety around train tracks.

Zmudzinski to lead national rail systems at WSP

Will lead the firm’s transit and rail systems engineering team and support business development across the U.S.

4 teams submit design-build bids for Foothill Gold Line light rail project

Includes technical approach to completing the design and construction of the project, their management method, and financial bid.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation