The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

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The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby MEC407 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:14 am

From Bloomberg:

Bloomberg wrote:General Electric Co. (GE) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), the world’s largest locomotive makers, are rushing to develop natural gas-powered models in a potential shift from diesel’s six decades as the fuel of choice for railroads.

Three of the biggest U.S. rail carriers -- Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A)’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC, Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) and Norfolk Southern Corp. -- are working with manufacturers on using gas as an alternative power source for freight trains. CSX (CSX) Corp. is studying the technology.
. . .
“We are entering a new era where natural gas will be a major fuel,” Lorenzo Simonelli, chief executive officer of GE’s transportation unit, said in an interview.
. . .
“In the last 12 months, there’s been a tremendous increase in activity around LNG within North America,” Simonelli said. “In the not-too-distant future, you’ll see some announcements being made about how we can apply LNG into a locomotive.”


Read more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-0 ... -cost.html
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby D.Carleton » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:43 am

Just build a domestic version of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdEnpfOGNOM (Yes, I'm kidding.)
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:46 am

Possibly relevant: wasn't the Powerhaul engine that GE uses on its British and European models derived from an engine originall designed to burn gas?
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby MEC407 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:46 am

Indeed it was.

However, considering the fire problems GE is having with the diesel version — and knowing that LNG is a lot more volatile than diesel fuel — I hope they'll put some serious effort into solving that problem.
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby kitsunedawn » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:30 pm

Didn't the BN and a few other railroads already try this?

I remember reading somewhere, perhaps in a Trains magazine, that there was a LNG switcher being built at one point, but don't recall what happened to the idea. That would have been in the late 1980's early 1990's when the article ran.
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby tj48 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:39 pm

I remember the BN did...... http://qstation.org/BN_LNG/
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby Allen Hazen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:58 pm

LNG powered switchers go WAY back, and not always with internal combustion engines: there was a scrap-yard in the Chicago area that got a fair bit of railfan attention because they used steam switchers into the 1970s (I think-- late 1960s certainly), and at one point they modified one of their 0-8-0 switchers to burn natural gas!

What I think Kitsunedawn is referring to is the Morrison-Knudson/Boise Locomotive/MPI Caterpillar-engined switcher, since built in several variants and reasonable numbers burning diesel oil. The first ones, built in 1994 under the "MK1200G" model number, were LNG powered: Santa Fe and UP got two each for use n the Los Angeles area. ... Same basic engine, using oil fuel, was apparently a bit more powerful: the diesel-fuel variant was the MK1500D, the numbers being approximate h.p.
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby Irongrave » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:23 pm

Been hearing rumors that GE dose have an LNG tester running. From what I've been told its a hodge poge shell newer Cab and electrical cabinet with an older carboy and radiator
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby scharnhorst » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:43 pm

kitsunedawn wrote:Didn't the BN and a few other railroads already try this?

I remember reading somewhere, perhaps in a Trains magazine, that there was a LNG switcher being built at one point, but don't recall what happened to the idea. That would have been in the late 1980's early 1990's when the article ran.


Yes Burlington Northern did but the progam did not last vary long and the units were converted back to diesal. I cought one of the units that was used in the exparmients about 8 years ago long sents retired and owned by Helm Leaseing.

As we speak Russia is also trying out LNG train sets and have a 10,000 H.P. train set in testing I do not know the spicifics of this as friends of mine there tell me that there nt allowed to talk about how things are going with the set.
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby v8interceptor » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:04 pm

scharnhorst wrote:
kitsunedawn wrote:Didn't the BN and a few other railroads already try this?

I remember reading somewhere, perhaps in a Trains magazine, that there was a LNG switcher being built at one point, but don't recall what happened to the idea. That would have been in the late 1980's early 1990's when the article ran.


Yes Burlington Northern did but the progam did not last vary long and the units were converted back to diesal. I cought one of the units that was used in the exparmients about 8 years ago long sents retired and owned by Helm Leaseing.

As we speak Russia is also trying out LNG train sets and have a 10,000 H.P. train set in testing I do not know the spicifics of this as friends of mine there tell me that there nt allowed to talk about how things are going with the set.


The experimental Russian locomotive is a gas turbine electric rather than a Diesel:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/sing ... tests.html
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby v8interceptor » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:13 pm

kitsunedawn wrote:Didn't the BN and a few other railroads already try this?

I remember reading somewhere, perhaps in a Trains magazine, that there was a LNG switcher being built at one point, but don't recall what happened to the idea. That would have been in the late 1980's early 1990's when the article ran.

You are thinking of the MK Rail MK1200G, a 1200 HP switcher built by the former locomotive Division of Morrision Knudsen.
4 were built, 2 for ATSF and 2 for UP. All 4 currently are operating on the Los Angeles Junction Railway, a switching and terminal railroad which is a BNSF subsidiary:
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos. ... ve=MK1200G
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby scharnhorst » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:42 pm

v8interceptor wrote:
kitsunedawn wrote:Didn't the BN and a few other railroads already try this?

I remember reading somewhere, perhaps in a Trains magazine, that there was a LNG switcher being built at one point, but don't recall what happened to the idea. That would have been in the late 1980's early 1990's when the article ran.

You are thinking of the MK Rail MK1200G, a 1200 HP switcher built by the former locomotive Division of Morrision Knudsen.
4 were built, 2 for ATSF and 2 for UP. All 4 currently are operating on the Los Angeles Junction Railway, a switching and terminal railroad which is a BNSF subsidiary:
http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos. ... ve=MK1200G



a unit that looked like ATSF/ BNSF 1201 was here in Tulsa, OKlahoma last weekend it arrived on a Saterday and departed the following morning in the direction in which it came.
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby MEC407 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:11 pm

GE to build LNG retrofit kits for Evolution Series locomotives:

GoErie.com wrote:GE Transportation locomotives powered by natural gas could soon be appearing on railroads across the country.

But don't expect to see new natural gas locomotives rolling off the GE assembly lines in Erie or Fort Worth, Texas, anytime soon.

Instead, the company confirms it has begun a pilot program to build LNG, or liquefied natural gas, conversion kits that will be available to modify existing Evolution locomotives.

The kits would be built to power the 4,500-horsepower Evolutions already in service.


Read more at: http://www.goerie.com/ge-transportation ... rsion-kits
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby PWRRU18B#1801 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:41 pm

The OEM's aren't the only game in town. There is a company in Florida that has done plenty of work on the 7FDL engine, and others, over the past decade. The limiting factor is still the LNG supply to the locomotive. Line haul locomotives will use an as-yet undefined LNG tender car. FRA and AAR are working on rules so this can be a reality. Currently you need an FRA waiver to move LNG on the rails.

The company can be found here: www.gfs-corp.com
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Re: The horsepower race is over; the LNG race begins

Postby PWRRU18B#1801 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:58 pm

Word has it the LNG tenders are inching closer to AAR & FRA approvals. Once the LNG tender cars are rolling, the locomotives can be converted fairly quickly by GFS Corp. Their system can be installed at any maintenance shop with minimal downtime. I've seen it done on mine trucks, and stationary power applications.

The GE OEM system has to be done during overhaul, so you add that significant expense. Word has it the GE system will only be available for Evolution series locomotives and not for the thousands of older Dash 8 and Dash 9 engines.
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