Indian Railways' Research Design & Standard Organisation (RDSO) is developing locomotive prototype which will run on LNG. The Railways plans to build around 20 LNG-based locomotives once the prototype proves to be successful. The Railways expects to halve the operating cost of locomotives even at the current enhanced LNG prices.
The fuel switch over will also lead to significant reductions in other regulated and unregulated emissions like NOx among others. Railways says that a complete switch to natural gas as fuel for its diesel locomotives would amount to only 2.2 per cent of India's annual 81 million tonne natural gas consumption making it commercially feasible.
A Railways Ministry statement said that to make use of global reserves of natural gas, India is setting up infrastructure for import of LNG into the country. Even LNG terminals are in various stages of setting-up on the east and west coasts of India, all with railway connectivity, the statement said on the matter.