As the FRA invites U.S. rail operators to a national climate challenge, Amtrak progresses on emissions reduction

WASHINGTON – During one of the most exciting phases for passenger rail in this nation’s history, Amtrak is beginning a new era that offers even more sustainable transportation options for travelers. To bring this transformation to life and as part of Amtrak’s vision for the future, Amtrak pledges to reduce 40% of greenhouse gas emissions, fully transitioning all electricity to carbon-free sources by 2030. As a part of this vision, the acquisition of new ALC-42s will reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions compared to the legacy fleet they are replacing.

“The United States has the opportunity to make use of an unparalleled asset—our railway infrastructure—to support an expanded network of low-carbon, high-capacity intercity passenger rail that can reduce this country’s carbon emissions,” said Amtrak CEO and President Stephen Gardner. “Creating a future where rail is operated on clean energy, Amtrak is stepping up to President Biden’s Climate Change Commitment and the FRA’s challenge as we aim to transition to carbon-free electricity to power our trains.”

Amtrak is proud to provide significant emissions savings for its customers. In fact, the individual automobile is, on a per-passenger mile basis, one of the least efficient types of transportation. To get a sense of what this means in terms of climate impact, Amtrak emits up to 83% fewer greenhouse gases per passenger compared to driving and up to 72% fewer than flying.**

From 2010 to 2019, Amtrak reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, which is equivalent to powering the homes of the entire population in Richmond, Va. Through several key initiatives like energy efficiency upgrades, using as little fuel as possible and running more efficient locomotives, Amtrak continues to reduce fuel and energy use year-over-year.

Acknowledging the impact of climate change to local communities, Amtrak is also developing a company-wide climate resilience plan to ensure the company will continue to provide reliable and safe service as climate conditions change. For more information about Amtrak’s approach to sustainability, please visit

Source: Amtrak

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