VTG Aktiengesellschaft, one of Europe’s leading wagon hire and rail logistics companies, celebrated a European premiere with the launch of the first-ever tank wagon for transporting LNG.
Under the banner LNG by Rail, the company showcased the vehicle to the public during the ‘Transport Logistic’ trade fair in Munich this week.
Chart Ferox partnered VTG in designing the tank and Thomas Carey, Chairman of the Distribution & Storage Group at Chart, unveiled the wagon with VTG Aktiengesellschaft CEO, Dr. Heiko Fischer.
The wagon was presented in an outdoor arena at the trade show, and Fischer commented, “We are very pleased to be able to present the first of two LNG prototypes at the world’s leading logistics exhibition to the public here in Munich today.”
“Three years from the project launch, the wagon has finally taken on [its] physical form and can be touched and tested by customers and any other interested parties.”
Carey also added, “We are expanding and strengthening the Chart product portfolio with this new mode of transport. We are extremely pleased to be a part of this innovative development and crafting this opportunity to make LNG fit for transport by rail.”
The new tank wagon makes it possible to supply Europe with environmentally-friendly natural gas in future, using environmentally-friendly rail transport regardless of the presence of pipelines.
VTG developed and built two prototypes for transporting LNG by rail. Chart Ferox built the cryogenic parts, vessels and cabinets. Due to its excellent insulation properties, using vacuum technology, the LNG rail tank car holding time is up to six weeks. Insulation performance is of importance to keep the liquid at the lowest temperature possible (–162ºC) and to minimise pressure build-up in the tank.
A unique suspension technology between the cryogenic vessel and the undercarriage rail frame required special development, which concluded dynamic and vibration calculation tests performed by the VTG and Chart Ferox teams.
VTG envisages enormous potential in Europe for LNG as an energy source; not only for industries with large energy requirements, but with municipalities, ports and maritime transport applications also seen as potential customers. To underline this, VTG has signed a cooperation agreement with Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH to confirm their joint commitment to LNG as an environmentally-friendly fuel with a bright future.
Operational authorisation for the wagon was issued by the German Federal Railway Authority in mid-April, making series production possible.