Dedicated-CNG System for Locomotive Connecting Two Cities
Engines using a dedicated-compressed natural gas fuel system from Los Angeles-based Omnitek have been installed on a locomotive in the Czech Republic. The pilot project with VMG, the Vitkovice Machinery Group and the Czech Railway Research Institution, includes scheduled passenger service three times daily between the cities of Opava and Hlučín in the eastern end of the country.
The diesel locomotive’s two engines were replaced with Tedom units fueled by CNG. The goal of the pilot program is “to demonstrate the economic, environmental and practical applications of CNG for rail transportation,” Omnitek says.
The locomotive application “further distinguishes our products and capabilities from the competition,” Omnitek president and CEO said in a release. “We applaud program leaders for choosing Omnitek’s 100% dedicated natural gas technology over dual-fuel technology, which offers little economic savings potential and not the same low-emissions performance,” he said.
New Fueling Capacity Too
“The locomotive is based at the railway station in Opava East, in whose vicinity we have the intention to build a stationary CNG filling station,” Vitkovice commercial director Martin Žák said in an NGV Global report. The public access station will also support road vehicles, he said.
The CNG locomotive has an array of CNG fuel cylinders with a total volume of 3,430 liters, about 530 kilograms of CNG, enough for 1,500 kilometers of range or more than 900 miles. “For the most part, the locomotive will haul four passenger cars on the Opava-Hlučín line,” NGV Global said.
“Without exaggeration, one can say that it is a small railway revolution,” Rodan Broskevič of Vitokovice said in the report. “If the CNG locomotive receives approval at Opava, we assume that Czech Railways will be thinking about other reconstructions of these locomotives and their subsequent deployment.”
Cheap Oil Temporary and ‘Intoxicating’
CNG operation is expected to prove about 40% cheaper than diesel.
“There are inherent advantages to the utilization of natural gas and we are well-positioned for meaningful growth – particularly in the United States, Mexico, China and Europe,” said Omnitek’s Funk.
“Despite the intoxicating effect of temporary lower oil prices, environmental and energy security issues will not go away and government policies around the globe are important market drivers for our technology.”Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a premium subscription.
Source: Omnitek and NGV Global with HHP Insight follow-up