In May the BNSF Railway Co., largest railroad operator in the US, tested locomotives developed in Erie, PA that were fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Using LNG as an alternative resource could potentially revive railway transportation and travel in America by cutting fuel cost in half, allowing trains to travel further on the same amount of fuel, and still achieve towing power comparable to diesel powered engines.
Due to trains running on fixed routes, as with the fleet vehicles, building the infrastructure (refueling stations) to support them is actually more cost effective and further reduces overhead in the long run. The stations are simply placed along the route where they are near natural gas fields, further reducing the cost to transport the fuel.
The good news for Pennsylvania is that the state is home to second largest natural gas formation in the world; the Marcellus Shale. Americas Natural Gas Alliance (AGNA) reports that PA employs over 250,000 people to produce natural gas, with three-quarters being residents that make over $90,000 yearly.
The Lehigh Valley would personally benefit from this trend continuing – expanded use of liquefied natural gas -- because poised to take advantage is Caterpillar; the largest supplier of heavy equipment, locomotives, and trucks. Although the company moved its headquarters from Allentown, it still has a huge factory locally and plenty of investments in the area.