Alaska Railroad to become first rail freight service in U.S. to transport LNG

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska Railroad is set to become the first rail freight service in the United States to transport liquefied natural gas by rail. It's in an effort to eventually aid in providing an energy source across the Last Frontier and meet growing energy needs, particularly in Interior Alaska.

On the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 27, two intermodal cryogenic tank containers loaded with LNG will be moved overnight from Anchorage to Fairbanks as part of a multi-week demonstration, which will include eight round-trip journeys over the course of the next month.

Vancouver-based Hitachi AW Cryo, Inc. loaned the two LNG ISO containers to the Alaska Railroad Corp. for the project. The two 40-foot containers, with fortified tank walls and protective structures around the tank, can carry up to 7,023 gallons of LNG at -160°C. Hitachi is one of several companies interested in Alaska’s LNG market.

The transport is all part of the operational performance investigations of the AK LNG Project. The idea is to show the ability of the Alaska Railroad Corp. to safely transport liquefied natural gas from Southcentral to Interior Alaska. during a month-long operational performance project in early fall 2016. The Sept. 27 is the first of twice-weekly tests that are set to continue through October.
Alaska Railroad Corporation obtained permission for transports from the Federal Rail Administration last October.

Please note, the broadcast version of this story run Tuesday morning mentioned an incorrect departure time.