‘With the right tank, LNG can cross long distances by rail’

VTG's tank wagon

The German logistics service provider VTG has completed a trial with the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail. The company has been transporting LNG since 2016, but it says it can now do so on a permanent basis and on a larger scale. According to VTG, the trial has shown that it is feasible to transport large volumes of LNG with specially prepared tank wagons over a longer distance by rail.

VTG conducted the trial on behalf of Uniper subsidiary LIQVIS, which was looking for ways to transport the LNG safely, economically and sustainably. With the help of cryogen specialist Chart Ferox, work was done on a filling installation for the tankers on the site of the port of Brunsbüttel.

Sustainable and safe transport of LNG

The tank wagons themselves were also developed in collaboration with the company. Depending on the precise composition, LNG becomes liquid at a temperature of 120 degrees below zero. The product must therefore remain at a constant temperature during the filling process and transport.

During the trial, LNG was transported from Brunsbüttel to Ingolstadt, about 800 kilometers away. Because VTG now has this special filling installation and wagons at its disposal, they believe that rail is for the first time a fully-fledged alternative not only for inland shipping, but also for road transport and pipelines. This will fill one of the last niches in rail freight transport, says VTG.

Author: Nick Augusteijn

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