RZD has Begun Operating the 1st Mass-Produced Main Gas Turbine Locomotive
An innovative locomotive that runs on liquefied natural gas (LNG)-the GT1h-002 main gas turbine-has arrived to Sverdlovsk railways for regular operation. After the necessary maintenance and refueling, it will start driving trains, including those with increased weight and length, on the Egorshino-Alapayevsk-Serov-Sortirovochny route.
Experimental trips will be conducted in the near future with the use of the gas turbine locomotive on a nonelectrified test site north of the Sverdlovsk mainline, where there are plans to start operating such equipment. For the first time, GTh1-002-without refueling en route-drove a train weighing 9 t on the route Surgut-Voinovka in an experiment on May 23, 2016.
The first GT1h-001 main gas turbine has been operating on Sverdlovsk Railways at the Egorshino locomotive depot since 2013. The second, improved model, GT1h-002, was also tested there. TEM19 shunting gas locomotives also run successfully at Egorshino station.
The GT1h-002 gas turbine, now officially part of the locomotive fleet of JSC Russian Railways, successfully passed certification tests on the basis of the Research and Design Technological Institute of Rolling Stock (VNIKTI) in Kolomna near Moscow and received a certificate of conformity. They will be mass produced at the facilities of Lyudinovo diesel locomotive plant (part of the Sinara Transport Machines holding).
It was no accident that the Sverdlovsk mainline was chosen as the test site for gas-engine locomotives. Sverdlovsk Railway has the necessary infrastructure-an LNG complex was built near Yekaterinburg with a special station for fueling rolling stock. Also, the route has quite extensive nonelectrified sections of different profiles suitable for gas turbine locomotives.
The use of LNG as a cheap and environmentally friendly fuel for locomotives is one of the focuses of the Energy Strategy for JSC Russian Railways. This technology can reduce the amount of money spent on expensive diesel fuel and, as a consequence, reduce the cost of cargo transportation. Also, according to experts, it can reduce the emission of harmful substances into the atmosphere by 2-2.5 times.