Use of natural gas for locomotives in the year 1910
P. 322                       MINERAL RESOURCES of the UNITED STATES 1910 

Use of natural gas for locomotives.
 In the year 1910 natural gas was used in Texas for fuel, on a short railroad about 71 miles long, running from Bloomberg, on the Kansas City Southern Railroad, to Atlanta there being a natural gas line at each end of the road.  It was demonstrated that steam could be raised quicker with the gas than with coal and would haul the same load, but the results were not entirely satisfactory on account of the increased danger to the train­men and because the pressure of the gas was not high enough in the pipe line to give the pressure that was required in the drum.  A gas drum, or tank, 6 feet in diameter and 36 feet long, was loaded on a flat car, which was coupled to the rear of the locomotive, and connected by pipes with the fire box.  A burner having 36 openings through which the gas escaped as it was used, was placed on the grate bars with about 6 inches space between the burner and the walls of the box.  Gas was charged into the tank with natural gas pressure, which was about 100 pounds, and was then connected to the gas burner in the fire box and regulated by a valve in the cab, which was handled by the fireman. 

The gas was used successfully for about 5 months, but at the end of that time an inexperienced fireman was put on, and while stopping at one of the stations, instead of cutting, the gas down, which was what he should have done, he made a mistake and turned the gas on.  The fire door was kept in, the second notch, which permitted the fireman to see inside and know how the combustion was, and the gas, also seemed to burn better when the door this much.  When the fireman turned the gas on instead of turning it off, the blaze came out of this space at the door and filled the cab with flames.  Both the fireman and the engineer jumped off and the latter shut off the gas at the tank.  Neither of the men were seriously burned.  After this, the gas was used successfully for at least 3O days.  In the meantime, the company decided that it would not like to run the risk of this happening again and would discontinue the use of gas and return to coal. 

Texas is beginning to assume importance as a gas producer.  The principal gas-producing sections of the State are located in Clay and Navarro counties.  During 1910, gas was discovered in Webb County and preparations have been made to supply the town of Laredo from this field.  It is also reported that gas has been discovered in Coleman County, but whether of commercial value has not been ascertained.  Considerable gas is produced from oil wells in this State and consumed for development and operating purposes in the field. 

The principal gas companies of tile State in 1910 were the Lone Star Gas Co., operating in Clay County, and the North Texas Gas Co., operating in Navarro County.  The gas from these fields is supplied to the following-named places: Fort Worth, Dallas, Wichita Falls, Henrietta, Petrolia, Byers, Bellevue, Bowie, Sunset, Decatur, Alvord Rhome Bridgeport Irving, and Corsicana, all in Texas.  As already stated in this report, some of the gas consumed in Texas is pipe(I from wells in the Caddo field, the cities of Marshall, Texarkana, Atlanta, and Queen City being thus supplied. The total number of gas wells in Texas at the close of 1910 was 59, of which 22 were completed in 1910. The statistics of the consumption of gas in Texas are included with those of the States of Louisiana and Alabama