Top U.S. railroad BNSF Railway Co, one of the largest users of diesel fuel in the United States, plans to test using natural gas to power its locomotives this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
BNSF Railway, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday evening.
If successful, the experiment could weaken oil's dominance as a transportation fuel and provide a new outlet for the glut of cheap natural gas in North America, the paper said in its online edition.
"This could be a transformational event for our railroad," BNSF Chief Executive Matt Rose told the Journal.
Shifting to natural gas would "rank right up there" with the industry's historic transition away from steam engines last century, he told the newspaper.
BNSF is the second-biggest user of diesel in the United States after the U.S. Navy, the paper said citing the company's estimates.