BNSF Railway, the largest railroad in the U.S. and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, will begin testing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a locomotive fuel. (H/T Chris Phoenix)
BNSF estimates that, after the Navy, it is the second largest consumer of diesel in the U.S. With diesel prices at nearly $4 per gallon compared to just over $2 per gallon for large volume LNG users, the cost savings are game-changing.
Preliminary tests by General Electric and Caterpillar, which are developing the locomotives, indicate that trains powered by natural gas could also travel farther between refueling and have equivalent towing power to diesel. And because trains, like fleet vehicles, travel on fixed routes, building a fueling infrastructure for freight rail makes good economic sense.
Using natural gas would be significantly better for our nation’s air quality than conventional alternatives, with fewer nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (Sox) emissions and no diesel particulates.
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