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April 14, 2014

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Steve Hansen

In addition . . .

According to EIA, there are more than 25,000 locomotives in service with the Class 1 railroads. The capital cost of replacing all or a large part of them, equipping them with specially designed LNG tenders, and providing the associated fuelling infrastructure, would run into tens of billions of dollars, the EIA says.

"The financing requirement of large capital expenditures complicates the rather straightforward calculation of locomotive fuel economics," the agency explains. "The amount of capital available to Class 1 railroads, either on hand or raised in capital markets, is an important factor in determining whether, or to what extent, railroads can take advantage of fuel savings over time."

And as an aside, I suggest people read the recent stories in the NY Times ("Study Finds Methane Leaks Negate Benefits of Natural Gas as a Fuel for Vehicles" 2/13/14) and USA Today ("Natural gas vehicles worse for climate than diesel ones?" 2/14/14) to see how natural gas is a very questionable replacement for clean diesel.

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