Product Manager - Rail Group
Chart Industries, Inc
11:45 - 12:15
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
T2.4 LNG on the Rails
Chart will deliver updates on two aspects of LNG and the rail industry; firstly the conveyance of LNG by rail and secondly LNG as a fuel alternative to diesel for railway locomotives.
Rail transportation of many commodities and hazardous materials is almost always at a lower unit cost and considerably safer than moving the same product by highway. Increased production and use of LNG has prompted a desire to transport it by rail. Both the PHMSA and FRA been working on a Rulemaking to allow LNG to ship in DOT-113 tank cars, in the same manner that liquid ethylene has safely shipped for the last 50 years. The tank cars carry ~ 30,000 gallons of cryogenic liquid and are extremely robust comprising a fine grain carbon steel outer tank, stainless steel inner tank and stub sill assembly.
In addition to the tank cars, there is a desire to also allow UN T75 ISO containers to be transported by rail. 40’ ISO containers carry about 10,000 gallons of LNG and DOT Special Approvals have allowed some shipments. Europe and Canada both have regulations in place that allow tank car transportation of LNG as well as UN T75 ISO containers. In both locations Chart has developed suitable solutions that we will expand upon.
Due to increased environmental awareness and the escalating costs of diesel, rail operators are taking an interest in natural gas fueling. In November 2017, Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) rolled out its line-haul fleet of 24 locomotives that had all been converted to dual fuel – a combination of conventional diesel fuel and natural gas – becoming the first North American railway to do so.
The EPA Tier-3 compliant locomotives were retrofitted with GE’s NextFuel™ technology enabling them to substitute up to 80% diesel with natural gas without compromising engine performance. Chart designed and built the tender car to fuel the twin locomotive units. Not only did that include the system for re-gasifying the LNG to feed locomotives hitched either side of the tender, but also to manage re-fueling of the tender and meeting, or exceeding, FRA and AAR requirements. The result is a fleet of 13 units that each contain enough fuel for 900 miles of heavy haulage service at speeds up to 60 mph, which is sufficient for the round-trip journey with contingency for idling time and delays.
Safety was a massive consideration and Chart will demonstrate how the tender is far stronger than a traditional well car and equipped to withstand worst case scenarios for derailment, puncture and impact.
LNG as a rail fuel is now a reality and, as well as significantly reducing emissions, diesel substitution could reduce direct fuel costs by up to 50%.