CSX Corp. and GE Transportation have formed an agreement to begin ascertaining how CSX can best deploy liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel its locomotives. The partnership will kick off with a pilot program next year.
‘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,’ says Oscar Munoz, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CSX.’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.’
‘Locomotives are at an inflection point in balancing engine performance with efficiency and adherence to emissions standards,’ adds Russell Stokes, CEO of GE Transportation.
GE says it has been testing low-pressure natural gas technology – its NextFuel kits – since early this year, working closely with CSX and other partners in the process. CSX will be working over the next few months to develop a test plan and secure regulatory approval for its pilot project, which will also use the NextFuel platform.
Other major railroad companies, such as Canadian National Railway (CN), are also testing LNG. CN, for instance, partnered with Westport Innovations earlier this year to begin using tenders that can store more than 10,000 gallons of LNG each.