Amtrak Publishes Its Annual Sustainability Report

Amtrak has released its annual Sustainability Report for 2022, detailing the ways it has reduced diesel usage and air emissions while increasing the use of carbon-free energy.

These results support Amtrak’s climate commitment to incorporate environmental considerations into all aspects of its operations.

This improvement coincides with the revival of passenger rail services, with Amtrak continually operating more trains and working to expand its network.

Amtrak Net Zero
As part of Amtrak’s vision for the future, Amtrak aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the Amtrak Network by 2045
Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner said:

“Sustainability sits at the heart of Amtrak’s value proposition: we aim to get you there reliably, safely and with a smaller impact on the environment. As we build a more modern Amtrak with federal funding from the landmark Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), we aim to lead a new era of sustainable passenger rail.”

Since 2020, Amtrak has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 450,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. This does not include additional GHG emissions avoided when passengers choose Amtrak over driving or flying (a reduction of up to 83% or 72%, respectively).

Amtrak now remains committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its network by 2045.

Its progress over the past year includes:

Using renewable diesel – Following a 2020/2021 pilot conducted by Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) and Caltrans with support from Amtrak, locomotive manufacturers approved the use of renewable diesel on California’s state-supported passenger trains from FY23. This change reduces reliance on fossil fuels and cuts lifecycle emissions produced by diesel locomotives.

Fuel Reductions – Amtrak has reduced its fuel use in Chicago by reducing locomotive idling. This has been achieved thanks to automatic engine start-stop technology, shutting down engines when not in use and utilising ground power electricity over diesel when possible. These strategies have saved approximately 90,000 gallons of fuel.

Lighting Efficiencies – Amtrak has installed more than 3,000 new light fixtures, including 1,400 replacements of fluorescent or early-generation LED lights. This switch reduces Amtrak’s yearly GHG emissions by roughly 500 metric tonnes.

Expansion and Capital Investment – Amtrak has invested 2.3 billion USD in capital projects. It has restored or expanded service along 11 routes, hired more than 3,700 new employees, and seen ridership rebound by 89% over the previous year. In addition, it has announced details of its modernised Amtrak Airo trainsets. These factors are all part of its mission to bring more passenger trains to more people.

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