Spanish companies Renfe, Gas Natural Fenosa and Enagás started preparing the first pilot test for LNG-fueled locomotives in Europe, in order to verify the feasibility of a solution.
The project, carried out in cooperation with Institut Cerdà, ARMF and Bureau Veritas, is also the first in the world for passenger rail transport, Enagas said in its statement on Monday.
The pilot tests will assess the feasibility of adapting locomotives to run with LNG engines and tanks, and the relevant technical, legal, economic and environmental analysis for the Spanish and European rail network, the statement reads.
Institut Cerdà is coordinating the project involving ARMF as rail integrator and Bureau Veritas as the specialist inspection and certification company.
The agreement involves a pilot test being carried out with an LNG-fueled engine on a locomotive from the Feve diesel train depot (2600) along a 20 km section between Trubia and Baiña stations, extending to Figaredo, in Asturias.
For this purpose, the diesel engine on one of the two paired locomotive units will be replaced with one powered by natural gas, and tanks for storing LNG will be fitted, alongside other necessary auxiliary equipment, Enagas said.
The test results will enable the diesel and LNG technology comparison, as both types of engines will be used on the same train. In addition, the test will be used to draw conclusions on technical requirements for space, weight, refrigeration, and autonomy for running on natural gas, as well as other considerations and comparative variables in emissions and operating economy.
According to the statement, Renfe, Gas Natural Fenosa and Enagás are also assessing the possibility of presenting a second phase in this project for the CEF European funding.