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The EU is proposing to replace diesel locomotives with biodiesel traction

The EU is proposing to replace diesel locomotives with biodiesel traction
photo: Europorte/Europorte
20 / 07 / 2021

The new railway manifesto (The European Startup Manifesto on Rail) contains proposals that are intended to promote the use of green technologies - in other words, the decarbonization of rail transport.

One of them is the conversion of diesel traction to biodiesel fuel. This topic has already been discussed by Europorte (a French freight carrier).

The company has already agreed with Saipol, a vegetable oil, and biofuel producer, to conduct joint trials on the use of rapeseed oil instead of diesel on Stadler Euro4000 diesel locomotives produced in 2010.

The trials were scheduled to start on July 6 at the Nogent-sur-Seine - Dunkirk, and Nogent-sur-Seine - Sotteville-le-Rouen sections and will last 3 months. According to Europorte, with an expected level of locomotive mileage of 1.5 thousand kilometers per week, CO2 emissions should be reduced to 35 tons.

This startup was proposed to be included in the list of projects that can qualify for joint government funding in the EU. They also include the project DB Cargo UK (British freight carrier). The company transports the goods of the construction company Tarmac. Recently, it was announced that all diesel locomotives operating between the company's site in Mountsorrell and the asphalt plant in Birmingham will be converted to biofuels.

This is biodiesel based on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). At the end of February 2021, DB Cargo UK tested this type of fuel and confirmed the possibility of using HVO in class 60, 66, and 67 locomotives.