Westport Innovations (NASDAQ:WPRT) is working with Electro-Motive Diesel to apply Westport’s high pressure direct injection technology to a locomotive.
An EMD locomotive is to be fueled by liquefied natural gas as part of a Sustainable Development Technology Canada-supported effort with Montreal-based Gaz Metro. Gas Metro is also working to use LNG for heavy duty trucks in Canada, and for ferries (F&F, Nov. 14).
The EMD locomotive for the project is being provided by CN, Canadian National Railway. As per the parties’ consortium agreement, Westport will provide its core HPDI and related technology for the engine and fuel system. “EMD will contribute its expertise to integrate the natural gas engine, related components and controls to create a working locomotive platform,” Westport says.
“EMD brings a great deal of experience and engineering knowhow in locomotive applications,” Paul Blomerus, senior director for high horsepower with Westport, said in a release. “Westport’s HPDI technology is ideally suited to high-horsepower applications such as locomotives as it retains the diesel engine’s favorable operating characteristics of high torque and power, transient response and efficiency, while reducing carbon emissions,” Blomerus said.
According to the United Nations, railroads around the world burn 9 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually, largely in the transportation of freight, Westport reports. “The development of natural gas-fueled locomotives will dramatically reduce the cost of transporting the world’s primary resources and manufactured goods because of the low cost of LNG compared with diesel fuel,” the company says. “Furthermore, the use of natural gas reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 27%.”
Westport has a funding commitment of $2.3 million Canadian from SDTC to develop its HPDI technology for high-horsepower applications.
Illinois-based EMD has been a unit of Alabama-based Progress Rail since August 2010.
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