Russian Railways to Build New LNG Fuelled Locomotives

Sinara’s GT1h-002 prototype natural gas fuelled turbine-electric locomotive (LNG Loco)

MOSCOW: In accordance with the Implementation Program, signed under the Agreement of Cooperation in the NGV sector at the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi, Russian Railways plans to increase the fleet of mainline gas turbine locomotives and gas turbine shunters powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 3 to 22 units by 2023. The locomotives will operate on the Sverdlovsk Railway.

The Agreement of Cooperation in the NGV sector between Gazprom, Russian Railways, Sinara Group, and Transmashholding was signed in June 2016. The document is aimed at promoting natural gas use in railway and motor transport, mitigating environmental impacts, facilitating NGV market growth, increasing domestic gas consumption, and fostering the national machine building industry.

For refueling purposes, Gazprom intends to build two small-scale LNG production facilities at the gas distribution stations in Tobolsk and Surgut, as well as platforms for mobile refuellers at the Voynovka and Surgut stations.

Pursuant to the Program, manufacturers Sinara Group and Transmashholding will take measures to improve the designs of gas-powered locomotives. In addition, new series of gas-powered vehicles will be developed.

The Implementation document was signed by Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Sergey Kobzev, Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Chief Engineer of Russian Railways, Sergey Papin, President of Sinara-Transport Machines (part of Sinara Group), and Alexander Yermonsky, Deputy CEO for Technical Development of Transmashholding.

The Russian Federation is the founder and sole shareholder of Russian Railways.

Background

In 2005, Russian Railways launched a project aimed at designing and manufacturing a liquefied natural gas-powered locomotive (gas turbine locomotive) within the framework of its strategy for increasing energy efficiency in transportation. The first trips of the gas turbine locomotive proved its efficiency in heavy train transportation. In 2009, the gas turbine locomotive was used in transporting a 15,200-ton freight train, setting a world record for a self-powered locomotive with one propulsion unit.

Based on Russian Railways’ specifications, Russian companies manufactured two mainline gas turbine locomotives and one gas turbine shunter, all of them powered by LNG. They are in regular service at the Egorshino – Serov-Sortirovochny section of the Sverdlovsk Railway.

Sinara-Transport Machines is the machine building holding of Sinara Group focused on engineering, manufacturing and maintenance of railroad machinery and diesel plants.

Transmashholding is a leading Russian manufacturer of rolling stock for railways and public transport. It produces, inter alia, locomotives, electric and diesel trains, passenger cars, and freight wagons.

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