Russian Railways and associated organizations are stepping up their work on liquefied natural gas-fueled trains, planning a new gas turbine locomotive for May 2013 and pledging to deploy 39 more in 2020 if tests go well, according to information furnished by Eugene Pronin of Gazprom (himself citing the Prime-TASS news service).
According to information received, the new prototype is to have a powertrain by the Motorostroitel motor production company of Samara, said Russian Railways VP Valentin Gapanovich. His organization is the principal investor, working with the (Ekaterinburg, Russia-based) Sinara Group on the 40-locomotive project.
A contract for the prototype locomotive is expected to be signed on August 1. If the unit performs as expected, the order for 39 additional LNG locomotives would be signed in January 2015, for delivery in 2020.
Russian Railways expects LNG fuel to cost about half as much as conventional liquid fuel.
According to Russian Railways president Vladimir Yagudin, LNG locomotives should have a range of 1,000 kilometers – 620 miles – and fueling will not be a problem. Gazprom helped facilitate previous trials, and it would be good for cooperation with Gazprom (the Russian national gas company) to continue, Yagudin said.
According to previous reports, a GT-1 (or GT-001) locomotive with an 8,300-kilowatt (more than 11,000 horsepower) gas turbine has been in trials at least since 2009, and last year successfully hauled a record 16,000-ton load in 170 railcars at the All Russia Railway Research Institute (VNIIZHT) test track at Shcherbinka, south of Moscow.
NGV Global News included the detail that the 300-ton GT1 has a turbine and power unit and a separate section accommodating a 17-ton LNG fuel tank.
Further information may be expected late this summer as Gazprom (and NGVRus, the Russian National Gas Vehicle Association) are organizing GasSUF 2012, the 10th annual conferences and international exhibition of technologies for distribution and effective use of natural gas, to be held September 4-6 at the EcoCentre Sokolniki Exhibition and Convention Center northeast of Moscow.
Fleets & Fuels extends Special Thanks to Vaclav Chrz
of LNG equipment supplier Chart Ferox in Prague
for his help with this report.
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Source: Fleets & Fuels inquiry and follow-up/research