Major Rail Company to Test Liquefied Natural Gas Locomotives

BNSF Railway Co., in partnership with GE and Caterpillar subsidiary EMD, says it will soon start testing the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel in some of its locomotives.

‘While there are daunting technical and regulatory challenges still to be faced, this pilot project is an important first step that will allow BNSF to evaluate the technical and economic viability of the use of liquefied natural gas in through-freight service,” says Matthew K. Rose, chairman and CEO of BNSF, a Berkshire Hathaway company.

GE and EMD are developing the natural gas engine technology that will be used in BNSF's project.

Burlington Northern, one of the companies that eventually merged into a new BNSF, used natural gas locomotives in the 1980s and 1990s. BNSF also tested LNG switch locomotives in Los Angeles a few years ago.

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