[design] HVO and FAME – Lineas and its biofuel shunting locomotives

On 28.03.2024, Lineas presented its new FAME locomotive. With Beacon Rail no.7855, the company is highlighting its commitment to finding sustainable solutions to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector. On 02.04.2024, a second machine was released in the same design, yet with HVO logos: 7849. 

This article was first published on 28.03.2024 and updated on 03.04.2024. Scroll down for the update.

FAME locomotive 7855

FAME, or Fatty Acid Methyl Ester, is a biofuel produced, among other things, from non-food raw materials such as used cooking oil. Although it is already used in marine engines and simple combustion systems, waste-based FAME has not been used yet in locomotives. Lineas is the first rail freight operator to test it.

Lineas is in the final testing phase, expected to last until June. These tests, conducted in collaboration with Cargill, are critical to validate the performance and reliability of FAME-powered locomotives before they are put into service.

Beacon Rail > Lineas 7855 in March 2024 with new FAME stickers © Lineas

FAME offers significant emission reductions, provided it meets strict criteria (e.g., being obtained from waste streams and certified according to REDII standards): these amount to up to 84% compared to conventional diesel. Thanks to using FAME and other biofuels, Lineas aims to reduce its Scope 1 emissions by 42% by 2030, a target in line with the validated Science-Based Targets.

Although using biofuels such as FAME is a significant step forward, Lineas would also like to emphasize that further infrastructure development is urgently needed to enable the widespread use of these fuels. Currently, there is no refuelling infrastructure for the supply of biofuels, which hinders their immediate rollout. Lineas calls for the cooperation of all stakeholders to develop this critical infrastructure and accelerate the transition to sustainable transportation fuels.

Beacon Rail > Lineas 7855 in March 2024 with new FAME stickers © Lineas

North Sea Port, one of the main logistics hubs in Lineas’ operating area, also expresses satisfaction with FAME’s deployment in rail freight transport within its region:

Daan Schalck, CEO North Sea Port, states “North Sea Port wants to increase the share of freight transport by rail from 10 to 15%. The emission reductions enabled by FAME will make a valuable contribution to making transport in the port area more sustainable. Suppliers of alternative fuels and rail operators will become important partners of the port in this regard.”

Update 03.03.2024: HVO locomotive 7847

Beacon Rail > Lineas 7847 on 02.04.2024 in Schaerbeek © Gwenaël Piérart

Just days later, Lineas released a second branded class 77 locomotive – the same idea, but a different type of fuel: HVO or Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil. It is a type of diesel produced from waste, primarily residue oils and fats such as used cooking oil and waste materials that are kept out of the waste stream. The environmental impact is that you don’t have to produce new diesel, and you save on emissions from drilling for crude oil.  7847 was first seen during the DAC4EU demonstration on 02.04.2024 in Schaerbeek:

Beacon Rail > Lineas 7855 on 02.04.2024 in Schaerbeek © Gwenaël Piérart

For this special occasion, Railcolor created the FAME logo and livery in combination with Lineas’ standard striping.