Operail launches its first LNG freight locomotive for testing
Before the locomotive is put into full service in autumn 2021, it will go through a period of testing and certification.
Operail – an international railway logistics company – has launched its first LNG freight locomotive in the Baltics and the neighbouring region.
The locomotive was constructed at Operail’s Tapa depot and will now go through a period of tuning, testing and certification.
Chairman of the Board of Operail, Raul Toomsalu, said: “The LNG freight locomotive is one of our focus projects in making rail transport, which is already environment-friendly, even more sustainable. We hope to see the expected positive result in terms of reduced emissions after the performance of the necessary tests and analyses, and we are planning to gradually transfer our other heavy freight locomotives to LNG as well.”
Managing Director of the Tapa Depot, Mihhail Sinani, said: “The locomotive took five months to build. We reconstructed the diesel fuel tank of the American General Electric C36 locomotive and added LNG tanks. Other necessary systems and contemporary security equipment were also installed on the locomotive to guarantee maximum safety. The locomotive now uses two kinds of fuel, which means that it can be powered by diesel as well as LNG – it will help us reduce our fuel costs by 30 per cent, and the machine emits 20 per cent less carbon dioxide and as much as 70 per cent less sulphur oxide into the air.”
A testing and certification period must be completed before the locomotive is put into service.
Mihhail added: “First of all, we will add sensors to the LNG freight locomotive, which will allow us to measure the quantity of emissions and carry out a more detailed analysis of environmental impacts. This will be followed by the preparation of the documents required for the certification of the new locomotive type, tests and test drives on our local infrastructure as well as on the public railroad.”
Operail reports that the LNG freight locomotive should start operating for freight transportation in autumn 2021.