CN is testing two main line diesel-electric locomotives fueled principally by LNG (liquefied natural gas) in revenue service in northern Alberta, Canada.
The units are testing on the 300-mile run north of Edmonton to Fort McMurray, the rail gateway to the oil sands region of northern Alberta. Fueling and maintenance takes place in Edmonton.
CN retrofitted the diesel engines in two 3,000-horsepower Electro-Motive Diesel SD40-2 locomotives to run on LNG using conversion kits supplied by Energy Conversions Inc. (ECI) of Tacoma, Wash. ECI says the hybrid fuel locomotive will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 70% over one locomotive duty cycle. The retrofitted locomotives, using 90% natural gas, with 10% diesel fuel for ignition, are paired with an LNG fuel tender—a specially equipped and protected tank car—between them. The tender, a former Union Pacific tank car, was upgraded by a unit of Chart Industries, Inc., New Prague, Minn. Chart is a supplier of cryogenic distribution and storage equipment to bulk and packaged industrial gas customers. LNG fueling is being provided by Encana Corp.