The Spanish Ministers of Development Íñigo de la Serna and of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda Álvaro Nadal attended in Asturias Europe’s first pilot test of an LNG-powered train and world’s first in the passenger rail sector. The goal of the project, led by Renfe together with Gas Natural Fenosa and Enagás and in collaboration with Bureau Veritas, is to verify the viability of LNG and its environmental and economic advantages compared to the use of diesel. The prototype will run on the C8f line (Baíña-Collanzo).
The project, which also includes the adaptation of other trains, is part of the decarbonization and energy efficiency plan led by Renfe and Adif (Railway Infrastructure Administrator) and of the Spain’s 2014-2020 strategy for Alternative Energy Vehicles (VEA), in line with the object and scope of Directive 2014/94 on the implementation of an alternative fuel infrastructure in Europe. In addition, it is in line with the objectives of the future Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition prepared by the Government.
The project will analyze the feasibility of adapting trains for operation with LNG engines and tanks and the corresponding technical, legal, economic and environmental analysis for the Spanish and European rail network. The tests with the LNG propulsion are programmed in a self-propelled train of the Feve diesel fleet (2600) in a 20-kilometer stretch between the stations of Trubia and Baiña with extension to Figaredo, in Asturias. The fuel will be supplied from Reganosa’s terminal in the Port of Ferrol.
From these tests, conclusions will be drawn about the technical requirements of space, weight, refrigeration and range for natural gas propulsion, in addition to other considerations and comparative variables in emissions and economy. In comparison with diesel, the studies for the rail sector foresee a reduction of between 20% and 30% in CO2 emissions; between 70% and 90% in CO emissions; 99% in SO2 and 90% in particles. From the economic point of view, it can help reduce operating costs due to a better overall price scenario for natural gas compared to petroleum fuels.
Source: Ministry of Development / Renfe