In 2011, U.S. railroad companies consumed a little over 3 billion gallons of diesel, nearly 5.5 percent of the total consumption for the entire country.
Oil is currently much more expensive than natural gas, which thanks to the shale boom, is at record low prices in the U.S. Switching engines to run on LNG instead of diesel is expected to help operators drastically cut their costs. Yet while most energy experts have predicted that LNG will not be ready for widespread consumption across the rail industry for a decade or more, Railway Age has stated that LNG powered locomotives will be common on U.S. railroads by 2016.
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