Experimental Train ?

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doccash

Buckeye
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Nov 10, 2008
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We live along a very busy stretch of SantaFe train track. I have seen this train only once and that was 2 months ago and no one else that I know has seen it. I caught this coming by at 70 mph when I happened to have a camera in the car that was set up for hummingbird shots. There were 3 engines that said natural gas dual fuel and were all hooked to the big natural gas tank behind the lead engine. Something for the future? Experimental? Dr.C

 

45Colt_Man

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 14, 2003
Messages
570
Nice picture as always Doc.

The Northern border of my property is BNSF railroad tracks. Lots of trains every day, wide variety of cargo, wind turbine blades, Boeing fuselages and military equipment along with the oil tankers, car haulers and such.

Now I'll have to keep watch for these engines. :lol:

Thanks Dana
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
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Dec 16, 2005
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BNSF has had at least one commercial touting their new natural gas powered trains. They are trying to reduce emissions but they do loose horse power when running on NG.

I wonder if the plan is somewhat like ocean going vessels. Burn cleaner fuels in port/populated area, and dirtier fuels at sea/unpopulated areas. Why else would it need to be "dual fuel".
 

Ferdinand

Single-Sixer
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Sep 8, 2007
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BNSF converted several locomotives to LNG. 9130 and 9131 are EMD SD70ACe's. These are six axle road-haul units with over 4000 hp prior to conversion to LNG. I don't know how much power the LNG engines produce. LNG locomotives have been in use for about five years or so, I think.

Great photo, by the way.
 

Jeepnik

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Ferdinand said:
BNSF converted several locomotives to LNG. 9130 and 9131 are EMD SD70ACe's. These are six axle road-haul units with over 4000 hp prior to conversion to LNG. I don't know how much power the LNG engines produce. LNG locomotives have been in use for about five years or so, I think.

Great photo, by the way.

Just a quick calc it would be about a 12 to 15% loss of hp. For any distance or serious grade they would need additional diesel powered units would be my guess.

Not giving them any grief, at least they aren't claiming they have a clean burning fleet ala VW.
 

WIL TERRY

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WAIT A MINUTE HERE...the wheels are turned by electricity as the diesel motor turns a dynamo and a LNG motor would turn the same dynamo. WHY would there be a loss of power ?
And so it goes...
 

Jimbo357mag

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Feb 22, 2007
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WIL TERRY said:
WAIT A MINUTE HERE...the wheels are turned by electricity as the diesel motor turns a dynamo and a LNG motor would turn the same dynamo. WHY would there be a loss of power ?
And so it goes...
Natural gas or propane doesn't have as many BTU's as diesel per gallon. :D

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent

Diesel - 129,500 --- BTU/gal
LNG ---- 75,000 --- BTU/gal
LP ------ 84,000 --- BTU/gal
 

radicalrod

Hunter
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Well I have heard that the diesel truck guys use propane sorta like gas guys use nitrous....RR
 

Biggfoot44

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Burns cleaner, not just for emissions purposes, but less internal crud, leading to better longevity. Yes , LP or CNG has lower btu, but latest generation of emmision complient diesels are down on power also, so make sure to compare apples to pears instead of apples to oranges.

Advantage of gas is much higher knock resistance, so in theory a dedicated LP/CNG engine could be built to make more power than a dual fuel.
 

Wyandot Jim

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The concept of using LNG to fuel locomotives isn't new. BNSF Railway Co. predecessor Burlington Northern Railroad operated some natural gas-powered locomotives in the 1980s and 1990s; BNSF tested LNG-fueled switchers in Los Angeles several years ago; and Union Pacific Railroad pursued a $15 million research program on dual-fuel locomotives in the 1990s that involved LNG.

A conversion has become attractive again because there's a greater supply of natural gas in the United States and Canada due to explosive production at a growing number of shales and basins, and the price spread between diesel and natural gas continues to favor gas.



GE Transportation will apply its “NextFuel” conversions of Evolution 3000 series locomotives for upcoming trials with the BNSF and CSX railroads. The low-pressure system allows the engines to run on 100% diesel in case there is a problem with liquefied natural gas availability or with onboard fuel delivery.

The low-pressure approach will result in less diesel displacement perhaps 15% less than might be possible with a high pressure injection system, says a railroad industry source. He likens that relatively modest penalty to “an insurance premium.”

“Natural gas-fueled locomotives can travel longer distances without refueling stops, as well as provide environmental and economic benefits,” states a GE-CSX release. “Adoption of natural gas-fueled locomotives will make freight rail an even more attractive transportation solution and furthers the industry’s ability to absorb traffic from the nation’s highways in an environmentally efficient way.”

“LNG technology has the potential to offer one of the most significant developments in railroading since the transition from steam to diesel in the 1950s,” CSX executive VP and COO Oscar Munoz says in the joint announcement. “That change took many years to complete and began with a lot of unknowns, and this one is no different.




From 2013

US-based rail operator BNSF Railway will start testing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel in its freight locomotives later in 2013.

BNSF Railway has been working with locomotive manufacturers GE Transportation and EMD, a unit of Caterpillar, to develop the LNG engine technology that will be used in the pilot project.

The use of LNG as transportation fuel is being explored as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and particulates when compared to diesel.

BNSF chairman and CEO Matthew Rose said that the use of LNG as an alternative fuel is a potential transformational change for the company.

"While there are daunting technical and regulatory challenges still to be faced, this pilot project is an important first step that will allow BNSF to evaluate the technical and economic viability of the use of liquefied natural gas in through-freight service, potentially reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby providing environmental and energy security benefits to our nation," Rose said.

"BNSF Railway has been working with locomotive manufacturers GE Transportation and EMD, a unit of Caterpillar, to develop the LNG engine technology that will be used in the pilot project."

The pilot will see BNSF test six modified locomotives, three each from Caterpillar and GE.

BNSF said if the pilot project is successful, it would offer huge saving in terms of fuel as its locomotives consume around 4.9 billion litres of diesel per year.

BNSF's predecessor Burlington Northern used LNG as a fuel for locomotives on a small stretch of contained track in the 1980s and 1990s.

"The changed market for natural gas in the United States is a critical part of our decision to explore it as a locomotive fuel and in this pilot we will test natural gas engine technology in railroad service," Rose said.

"We will be working with the equipment manufacturers, the various regulatory agencies and government officials to address the necessary actions to accomplish this."

BNSF plans to make a decision in 2014 on whether it will start to switch its fleet of over 6,900 locomotives to LNG.

In January 2013, the company unveiled plans to invest $4.1bn on capital expenditures (CAPEX) in 2013, an increase of $450m (11%) compared to the 2012 capital spending budget of $3.6bn.
 

doccash

Buckeye
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Nov 10, 2008
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Thank You Jim for the detailed update. This was my first glimpse of the future as it passed by at 70 mph.
Dr.C
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
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Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,124
On the LNG theme.

http://maritime-executive.com/article/carnival-orders-worlds-first-lng-powered-cruise-ships

Carnival Orders World's First LNG-powered Cruise Ships

quote> Carnival Corporation has signed a multi-billion dollar contract with Meyer Werft for four LNG-powered cruise ships, which will also have the largest guest capacity in the world.

The four new ships will be the first in the cruise industry to use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored onboard and used to generate 100 percent power at sea. Using LNG to power the ships in port and at sea will eliminate emissions of soot particles and sulfur oxides. <end quote
 

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