Operail has presented the first LNG freight locomotive in the Baltics, which was constructed at company’s Tapa depot, in Lääne-Viru County, Estonia.
Within the next stage, the locomotive will enter the necessary tests and analyses which are expected to bring “positive result in terms of reduced emissions”, according to the Chairman of the Board of Operail Raul Toomsalu.
The trial phase includes the installation of specific sensors that will measure the quantity of emissions and will allow Operail to 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 rail,” the Managing Director of the Tapa Depot Mihhail Sinani explained.
It is expected that the LNG freight locomotive will start operation in the autumn of this year.
“The LNG freight locomotive is one of our focus projects in making rail transport, which is already environment-friendly, even more sustainable,” Raul Toomsalu said.
The construction of the LNG freight locomotive took five months and covered the reconstruction of the diesel fuel tank of the American General Electric C36 locomotive and the installation of LNG tanks.
Following the project, the locomotive can be powered by diesel well as LNG which will reduce the fuel costs by 30% and the carbon dioxide emissions by 20%. In addition, the locomotive will emit 70% less sulphur oxide in the air.
In 2019, Operail and Latvian company DiGas signed an agreement to develop the LNG freight locomotive project for which the rail operator has announced a EUR 250,000 investment.
According to company’s assumptions, to transport a 1 tonne of goods on a 100-km rail line, a locomotive consumes quarter of the fuel compared to road transport. The LNG locomotive would use less fuel providing environmental benefits.