Italy To Put Gas on Track
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a project to convert Italian trains to use gas was announced March 28.
Italian gas utility Snam said in a statement that it has signed an agreement with Hitachi Rail and FS Italiane, a state-owned manager of Italy’s rail network. The trio plans a pilot project to convert up to two diesel-powered railcars to use LNG or compressed natural gas (CNG).
After a feasibility study, the companies will extend the scheme to a larger number of trains, the statement said. Methane converted trains will virtually eliminate particulate matter and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 20%, it added. Converting 100 trains would lead to savings of some €2.5mn ($2.8mn) annually in fuel costs.
Snam CEO Marco Alvera said: “Together with FS Italiane and Hitachi, we start promoting sustainable natural gas mobility in Italy also for trains. Liquefied natural gas and, in the near future, liquefied biomethane has a huge potential to be used widely for rail transport in addition to road and maritime transport, thanks to significant environmental and economic benefits it brings.”
FS Italiane will supply the railcars and workshops for the scheme, and run them on the 700 km of track it operates. Hitachi says converting the trains will extend their life-cycle.