SNCF realises a project on natural gas propulsion involving a railcar running on compressed natural gas (CNG). Simultaneously, the emerging technology of adsorbed natural gas (ANG) is explored.
Main R&D areas include the development of an efficient gas version of the current diesel engine (2 engines of type MAN D 2866 LUH 21 with 257 kW each) and convenient storage technologies. Furthermore, safety and regulatory issues are closely evaluated
Natural gas is seen by SNCF as one of today's best short-to-medium-term options for replacing diesel traction in some specific applications. Main benefits are seen in reduced emission, noise as well as reduced smell and smoke.
The project is partly funded by the French PREDIT programme for ground transportation research.