Russian Railways, Gazprom, Sinara Group and Transmashholding outline steps to expand
use of natural gas as motor fuel
The Open Joint Stock Company Russian Railways, the Public Joint Stock Company Gazprom,
JSC Sinara Group and Closed Joint Stock Company Transmashholding have signed a programme
of joint measures to implement the agreement on cooperation between the four companies
in the field of natural gas as a motor fuel which was concluded on 17 June 2016.
The programme of joint measures was signed at the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi
on 15 February 2018 and was signed by Sergei Kobzev, Deputy Chief Executive Officer
and Chief Engineer at Russian Railways, Vitaly Markelov, Deputy Chairman of the Board
of Gazprom, Sergei Papin, President of Sinara – Transport Vehicles, and Alexander
Yermonsky, Deputy Managing Director for Technical Development at Transmashholding.
The purpose of the joint activities is to expand the range of operation of locomotives
running on liquefied natural gas on non-electrified sections of Sverdlovsk Railways
with an increase in the weight of freight trains to 9,000 tons.
The parties to the programme will work together to develop and improve the design
of gas-engine locomotives, develop the infrastructure to ensure the supply of liquefied
natural gas for gas-powered locomotives, develop the infrastructure for servicing
locomotives and prepare a regulatory and legal framework.
In accordance with the programme, Russian Railways plans to increase the fleet
of main line gas-turbine locomotives and gas-fuel shunting locomotives operating on
liquefied natural gas (LNG) by a total of 3 to 22 units by 2023.
To ensure their constant refuelling, Gazprom proposes to build two small-tonnage
LNG production facilities at gas distribution stations in the cities of Tobolsk and
Surgut, as well as sites for the placement of mobile refuelling tankers at Voinovka
and Surgut stations.
As part of the programme during the pilot phase from 2013-2019, gas turbine locomotives
hauling trains weighing up to 9,000 tons are already in operation along the 302 kilometre
Yegorshino-Serov-Sortirovochny stretch, while a TEM19 gas-electric shunting locomotive
is in use at Yegorshino station.
During the first stage between 2020 and 2022, it is planned to organise the transportation
of trains weighing up to 9,000 tons along the 222 km Voinovka-Tobolsk section, as
well as to operate gas-thermal shunting locomotives at Yegorshino, Voinovka and Tobolsk
In the subsequent phase from 2023 to 2025, the area where trains with a mass of
up to 9,000 tons with gas engine locomotives will operate will be extended to 1,097
km (Yegorshino-Serov-Sortirovochny and Voinovka-Tobolsk-Surgut), while shunting gas-turbo
locomotives will serve Surgut station.
In the future, it will possible to expand the range of operation of gas engine
locomotives to Limbey station, and after the construction of the Northern latitudinal
Railway, which will connect Sverdlovsk Railways and Northern Railways, to 5,500 km.
An agreement on cooperation in the use of natural gas as a motor fuel was signed
between OJSC Russian Railways, PJSC Gazprom, CSJC Transmashholding and JSC Sinara
Group on 17 June 2016 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
This cooperation is aimed at expanding the use of natural gas as a motor fuel for
railway rolling stock and vehicles, reducing the environmental impact and creating
favourable conditions for the development of the market for gas-powered fuel in the
In accordance with the technical requirements of OJSC Russian Railways, domestic
enterprises manufactured two GT1h mainline gas turbine locomotives and one TEM19 gas-turbine
shunting locomotive running on liquefied natural gas. These engines are now in operation
at the Yegorshino-Serov-Sortirovochny section of Sverdlovsk Railways.
The main advantage of gas turbine locomotives with respect to other types of locomotives
is the possibility to develop considerable power (8,300 kW) with relatively small
dimensions and weight. Even when hauling the full load for which it was designed,
the GT1h can reach speeds of up to 100 kph.
The gas turbine built by JSC Sinara – Transport Vehicles operates on liquefied
natural gas (LNG) – a fuel which meets the highest environmental standards.
The exhaust gas emissions of the gas turbine engine are in compliance with the European
Euro-5 environmental standard, while its level of external noise lies within the norms
of the current health and safety regulations of the Russian Federation.
The pilot model of the TEM19 gas-turbine shunting locomotive is manufactured at
the Bryansk machine-building plant, which is part of CJSC Transmashholding. The power
of the locomotive, which is fitted with a gas piston engine that operates on liquefied
natural gas that obviates the need for diesel fuel, is 880 kW.