JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) and GE Transportation, a division of GE (NYSE: GE) today announced an agreement to explore emissions-cutting and efficiency breakthroughs in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) technology for locomotives beginning with a pilot program in 2014.
"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," said Oscar Munoz, executive vice president and chief operating officer, CSX Corporation. "That change took many years to complete and began with a lot of unknowns, and this one is no different. But aggressively exploring this technology is consistent with CSX's focus on tomorrow, its longstanding commitment to efficient and environmentally friendly transportation, and its role in helping to promote U.S. energy independence. GE Transportation has the know-how to provide the right LNG solution for our locomotive fleet and help us better understand the feasibility of LNG technology from a safety, operations and economic perspective."
Natural gas-fueled locomotives can travel longer distances without refueling stops, as well as provide environmental and economic benefits. 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.
"Locomotives are at an inflection point in balancing engine performance with efficiency and adherence to emissions standards," said Russell Stokes, chief executive officer, GE Transportation. "As we enter a new era of energy sources and what's possible for rail transport, we are excited to partner with CSX and lead the LNG transformation for the industry."
GE has been testing low-pressure natural gas technology since spring of 2013, and is working closely with CSX and other Class 1 partners. Field tests are expected to begin in 2014. GE's NextFuel™ kits allow railroads to use natural gas as a fuel source, reducing emissions and potentially reducing fuel costs while not compromising performance. An Evolution Series locomotive equipped with the NextFuel Natural Gas Retrofit Kit meets US EPA Tier 3 emission standards.
CSX will be working over the next few months to develop a test plan and secure regulatory concurrence. For CSX, GE Transportation will deploy its new NextFuel™ Natural Gas Retrofit Kits that enable existing Evolution Series locomotives to operate with dual fuel capabilities. CSX and GE will also work on the continued development of LNG technology for other classes of locomotives to promote gains across a larger portion of the CSX locomotive fleet, and will work closely with key stakeholders and agencies across government to ensure safety, realize environmental and other benefits, and advance LNG deployment.
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation's economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation's population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).
About GE Transportation
GE Transportation, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), solves the world's toughest transportation challenges. GE Transportation builds equipment that moves the rail, mining and marine industries. Our fuel-efficient and lower-emissions freight and passenger locomotives, diesel engines for rail, marine and stationary power applications, signaling and software solutions, drive systems for mining trucks, underground mining equipment, energy storage systems, and value-added services help customers grow. GE Transportation has approximately 13,000 employees. For more information visit GETransportation.com.