Fuel Train – Overview, Components, Design, Safety and More (NFPA 86 Edition)

Discover everything you need to know about fuel trains, including components, design, safety measures, and NFPA 86 compliance.

By Arturo Ramírez
Combustion and Control Systems - NUTEC Bickley


4 Minutes


4 Minutes

NUTEC Bickley has a long history of providing innovative solutions for industrial applications, including designing, fabricating, and maintaining industrial furnaces and kilns. A critical component of these systems, specifically using gaseous fuels is the gas train, playing a vital role in ensuring efficient and safe operation.

This article delves into the world of gas trains, exploring their components, design considerations based on NFPA 86 standards for gas-fired equipment, and the overall impact on furnace and kiln performance.

What is a fuel train (gas train)?

A gas train is a system that precisely regulates gaseous fuel delivery to an industrial burner. It acts as the bridge between the gas source (natural gas pipeline or storage tank) and the combustion process, ensuring a consistent flow of fuel at the required pressure and flow rate. A well-designed gas train system offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Improved Efficiency: Precise gas metering allows for optimal combustion, minimizing wasted fuel and maximizing heat output.
  • Reduced Emissions: Efficient combustion leads to cleaner burning and lower emissions, contributing to a more sustainable operation.
  • Enhanced Safety: Safety features integrated into the gas train system help mitigate risks associated with gas leaks and pressure fluctuations.

Discover how our fuel train solutions can transform your efficiency and safety.

Understanding the components of a gas train (NFPA 86 standards considered)

A gas train system is comprised of several key components, each playing a specific role according to NFPA 86 standards for gas-fired equipment:

  • Gas Shut-Off Valve: Located at the beginning of the gas train, this manual valve allows for complete isolation of the gas supply for maintenance or in response to emergencies.
  • Gas Filter: This component removes debris or contaminants from the stream, protecting downstream equipment.
  • Pressure Regulator: The pressure regulator reduces the incoming gas pressure from the main supply to the pressure required by the burner for efficient combustion.
  • Gas Safety Shut-Off Valve: This automatic safety valve shuts off the gas supply in case of a pressure drop or other safety concerns.
  • Low/High Pressure Switch: Both switches are interlocked into the combustion safety circuitry. The settings are made in accordance with the operating limits of the burner system.
  • Gas Meter (Optional): This device measures the volume of gas consumed, allowing for monitoring and optimizing fuel usage.
  • Pilot Gas Train (Optional for specific burner applications): Some burner systems may require a separate gas train specifically for the pilot flame ignition. This train would include a shut-off valve, regulator, and safety shut-off valve sized for the pilot burner requirements.
  • Burner: The burner is where the gas and air mix for combustion. The design and configuration of the burner play a crucial role in achieving efficient and complete combustion of the fuel.


Gas train design considerations (NFPA 86 compliance)

Several factors come into play when designing a gas train system to ensure optimal performance and safety, following the NFPA 86 standard:

  • Fuel Type Compatibility: The system's materials and components must be compatible with the specific gas type used. For example, a natural gas fuel train requires different materials compared to propane.
  • Flow Rate and Pressure Requirements: The gas train must be designed to deliver gas at the specific flow rate and pressure required by the furnace or kiln for efficient operation. Inadequate pressure or flow can lead to incomplete combustion and reduced efficiency.
  • Safety Features: Safety is paramount. Gas train systems should incorporate pressure relief valves to prevent over pressurization, leak detection systems to identify potential issues early on, and emergency shut-off valves designed according to NFPA 86 standards to isolate the gas supply in case of emergencies.
  • Efficiency Considerations: Choosing energy-efficient components and configurations throughout the gas train system helps minimize energy losses and optimize fuel usage.

Safety and regulations (NFPA 86 standards)

Adhering to safety procedures and industry standards, particularly NFPA 86 for gas-fired equipment, is mandatory for gas train systems. Following these guidelines ensures the safe operation and maintenance of the equipment.

Here are some standard safety protocols and best practices to follow for gas train systems aligned with NFPA 86:

  • Regular Inspections and Maintenance: Conduct routine inspections of all gas train components to identify potential problems such as leaks, worn parts, or malfunctioning safety features. Schedule preventive maintenance to ensure optimal performance and adherence to NFPA 86 guidelines.
  • Qualified Personnel: Ensure only trained and qualified personnel operate and maintain the gas train system. Proper training covers safe operation procedures, emergency response protocols, and adherence to NFPA 86 standards.
  • Proper Ventilation: Maintain adequate ventilation in the area housing the gas train system to prevent gas buildup and potential hazards.
  • Clear Labeling: Clearly label all gas train components, including shut-off valves, pressure gauges, and safety devices, for easy identification and operation.
  • Flame Safeguards: For burners with pilot flames, implement flame safeguard systems that automatically shut off the gas supply if the pilot flame extinguishes.
  • Leak Detection: Regularly monitor the gas train system for leaks using appropriate methods. Consider installing leak detection systems as an additional safety measure.
  • Emergency Preparedness: Develop a comprehensive emergency response plan outlining procedures for handling gas leaks, fires, and other emergencies. The plan should comply with relevant safety regulations and involve training personnel on emergency response actions.
  • Documentation: Maintain detailed records of inspections, maintenance performed, and any safety incidents related to the gas train system. This documentation is crucial for ensuring traceability and adherence to NFPA 86 standards.

By following these safety protocols and adhering to NFPA 86 standards, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure your gas train system's safe and reliable operation.

Learn safety tips for operating your kiln and furnace.



A well-designed gas train system plays a critical role in optimizing the performance of industrial furnaces and kilns. By precisely regulating the delivery of fuel at the required pressure and flow rate, gas trains ensure efficient combustion, maximizing heat output while minimizing wasted fuel. This translates to several key benefits:

  • Cost Savings: Improved efficiency lowers fuel consumption, leading to significant cost savings over time.
  • Reduced Emissions: Efficient combustion minimizes pollutants released into the atmosphere, contributing to a more sustainable operation.
  • Enhanced Safety: Safety features integrated into the gas train system mitigate risks associated with gas leaks and pressure fluctuations, promoting a safer work environment.
  • Improved Process Control: Precise fuel delivery allows for better control over the furnace or kiln operation, ensuring consistent and high-quality results.

For superior performance, safety, and efficiency in your industrial furnace or kiln operation, partnering with a company with extensive experience in gas train design and implementation is crucial. 

NUTEC Bickley offers custom-engineered gas train solutions, incorporating high-quality, reliable components to ensure smooth operation and extended lifespan. Our team of experts can guide you through the process of designing a gas train system that meets your specific needs and maximizes the performance of your furnace or kiln.

Contact NUTEC Bickley today to discuss your gas train requirements and explore how we can help you achieve optimal performance and efficiency in your industrial heating applications.

Frequently asked questions – Fuel train (gas train)

What are the key components of fuel trains (gas trains)?

A gas train system typically includes:

  • Gas Shut-Off Valve
  • Sediment Trap
  • Gas Filter
  • Pressure Regulator
  • Low/High Pressure Switch
  • Gas Meter (optional)
  • Pilot Gas Train (optional for specific burners)
  • Pressure Indicators
  • Gas Leak Detection Systems (optional)
  • Burner

How do design and configurations impact the performance of fuel trains?

The design and configuration of a gas train system significantly impact its performance. Key factors include:

  • Component selection: Components need to be compatible with the specific gas type being used.
  • Flow rate and pressure requirements: The system must be designed to deliver gas at the exact rate and pressure required by the furnace or kiln for optimal combustion.
  • Safety features: Proper integration of pressure relief valves, leak detection systems, and emergency shut-off valves is crucial for safe operation.
  • Efficiency considerations: Choosing energy-efficient components and configurations helps minimize energy losses and optimize fuel usage.

What safety features should be included in a standard fuel train system?

Safety is paramount. Standard safety features in a gas train system include:

  • Pressure relief valves: Prevent over pressurization.
  • Leak detection systems: Help identify potential issues early on.
  • Emergency shut-off valves: Isolate the gas supply in case of emergencies.

Why is regular maintenance and inspection essential for fuel train systems?

Regular maintenance and inspection of the gas train system are crucial for several reasons:

  • Ensures all components are functioning correctly and safely.
  • Identifies potential issues early on, preventing unexpected downtime.
  • Maintains optimal performance and efficiency of the gas train system.

How can custom-engineered solutions enhance the performance of a fuel train system?

Custom-engineered gas train systems offer several advantages:

  • Tailored to specific needs: The system is designed to meet the exact requirements of your furnace or kiln application.
  • Optimized performance: Precise sizing and configuration of components ensure maximum efficiency and fuel savings.
  • Enhanced safety: The system can incorporate additional safety features based on your specific needs and regulations.

By partnering with a company experienced in custom gas train design, you can achieve a solution that optimizes performance, safety, and efficiency in your industrial furnace or kiln operation.

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