CSX Looks at Liquefied Natural Gas to Power Locomotives; GE Transportation Will Also Be Involved in Ambitious Project
Monroe, Nate, The Florida Times Union
Byline: Nate Monroe
CSX Corp. and a division of General Electric announced Wednesday they will explore technology that would allow locomotives to run on liquefied natural gas, an agreement the companies say could revolutionize the railroad industry.
Jacksonville-based CSX says it will work with GE Transportation over the coming months on a test plan to outfit some diesel-powered locomotives with a kit that will give them the capability to also run on liquefied natural gas - an increasingly popular fuel because of its relatively low cost and lower emissions.
"LNG technology has the potential to offer one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel in the 1950s," said Oscar Munoz, executive vice president and CEO of CSX, in a statement. "That change took many years to complete and began with a lot of unknowns, and this one is no different."
Natural gas-powered trains can travel greater distances with fewer stops for refueling, the companies said, in addition to the economic and environmental benefits compared with traditional diesel.
Asked how many trains would be outfitted with GE's natural gas kit, Carla Groleau, CSX's communications director, said the company is in the "very early stages of evaluating LNG as a locomotive fuel. …