CSX to trial natural gas locomotive

GE Transportation is to work alongside CSX Corporation to undertake a pilot study into the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to power the operator’s fleet of Evolution Series locomotives.

CSX chief operating officer Oscar Munoz described the project, which will be conducted next year, as “one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel”.

GE will retrofit CSX locomotives with its NextFuelT Natural Gas kits which will allow the vehicles to run on both diesel and natural gas – a more efficient and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuel sources.

Retrofits will first be carried out on Evolution Series locomotives and, if successful, could be rolled out to other classes.

Russell Stokes, chief executive officer, GE Transportation, said: “Locomotives are at an inflection point in balancing engine performance with efficiency and adherence to emissions standards.

“As we enter a new era of energy sources and what’s possible for rail transport, we are excited to partner with CSX and lead the LNG transformation for the industry.”