Several Swedish companies have combined efforts to develop a biogas-fueled passenger train, reportedly the world’s first. The train can reach a top speed of 81 mph and travels along a 72-mile stretch from Linkoping to Vastervik on Sweden’s east coast. Regional utility company Tekniska Verken i Linkoping AB (Tekniska), its subsidiary, Svensk Biogas AB, and EuroMaint AB, which provides train service and maintenance, collaborated on the project.
Biogas, a renewable resource produced by decomposing organic material, is a low-emission fuel that will be produced locally in Sweden to power the train. When emissions are measured in G/kWh, biogas engines produce .01 CO, 2 NOx, and .01 particles in comparison to a diesel engine that emits .60 CO, 6.15 NOx, and .16 particles.
Named “Amanda,” the biogas-fueled passenger train was built in Italy in 1981. It originally ran on two Fiat engines that were later replaced by two Volvo diesel engines. After another remodel, the train now runs on Volvo 6-cylinder, 10-L gas engines with a power output of 286 hp. These are the same type of engines used in biogas-fueled buses. The train carries eleven gas storage tanks, and each tank can power the train for about 373 miles.
According to Volvo Buses Co., the train remodeling was a fairly easy task because the foundation details of the old and the new engines were close to identical.
In addition to the engine remodel, the interior of the carriage also has been redone. Able to accommodate fifty-four passengers, the railcar boasts a large flat screen, mobile phone signal amplifier, power points for laptop computers, a hot drinks vending machine, and improved ventilation.
According to its Web site, Tekniska is Sweden’s largest producer of biogas. It owns Svensk Biogas, a company that produces biogas and biofertilizer and states that it develops biogas production concepts based on both farm produce and organic waste as raw materials.
Sweden has approximately 1,491 miles of non-electrified railways, and there are more than 750 biogas-fueled buses in the country, according to an AFP news report.