Russia’s Gazprom orders LNG-propelled trains for Arctic railway

A freight train in Norilsk, Russia. (iStock)
A freight train in Russia. (iStock)
They will be environmentally friendly and far cheaper to use, the company says.

It is the Sinara Transport Machines, a Russian company based in Yekaterinburg (central Russia), which will build and deliver the new locomotives. They will be used on Gazprom’s railway line in the Yamal Peninsula.

According to the deal, which was signed during last week’s St.Petersburg Economic Forum, the Sinara Group will provide for the serial production of locomotives running on liquified natural gas (LNG). By year 2024, a total of 10 locomotives with 1,200 horsepower and 14 with about 2,000 horsepower will be delivered, Gazprom informs.

Less polluting than conventional trains

According to the Sinara Group, the machines will be able to pull up to 8,200 tons of cargo. They are more environmentally friendly than conventional locomotives and can help the operator reduce up to 40 percent in fuel costs.

It is Gazprom’s subsidiary GazpromTrans, which operates the 572 km long Yamal railway between the stations of Obskaya and Karskaya (Russian Arctic). The line could in the future be extended to nearby Kharasavey, as well as Sabetta on the northeastern tip of the Yamal Peninsula (Arctic).

It is the world’s northernmost railway. It was opened in 2011 in connection with Gazprom’s development of the grand gas field Bovanenkovo. It today constitutes a key part of the company’s logistics schemes in the area. The line ends in the station of Karskaya, a point located on 70° north. It includes five stations and 12 double track sections. There are 70 bridges with a total length of 12 km.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada ill-prepared for Arctic shipping boom, G7 sustainability summit hears, Eye on the Arctic

China: Qingdao plays pivotal role in China’s Arctic strategy, Cryopolitics Blog

Finland: Finnish company to launch wind-propelled cruise ship, YLE News

Norway: Norwegian cruise company takes hybrid-electric shift, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Coal exports help Murmansk railway beat cargo record, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden plans construction of northern coast railway, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: World maritime body approves first Arctic ship routing measures, Radio Canada International

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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