An article in Canada’s Financial Post last fall suggested North America’s railways could save a bundle by running their locomotives on natural gas and not diesel fuel. Of course, the article appeared before petroleum prices went into a tailspin.
So, the fuel savings that railways could realize may not now be as great. Still, the idea has merit, if for no other reason that gas prices have historically trailed those for oil. Interestingly enough, starting in the 1950s, Union Pacific used locomotives powered by gas turbines, phasing them out by 1969 when they became too expensive to operate.