Amtrak aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

Amtrak has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

The passenger rail service said part of the timeline includes reaching 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030, and reducing diesel fuel use by investing further in fuel-cells, hydrogen, batteries and other zero-emission technologies.

“We congratulate Amtrak for this ambitious commitment to further reduce its carbon footprint, cementing its place as a leader in the clean transportation revolution,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“As we continue working to implement President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we look forward to working with Amtrak to demonstrate the key role of passenger rail in fighting climate change.”

Money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be used to support Amtrak’s emission goal by helping the rail service get a more sustainable fleet. The legislation includes $66 billion for improvements for Amtrak, which is the largest federal investment in passenger rail service since Amtrak was founded 50 years ago.

Last year, Amtrak announced a $7.3 billion plan to replace 83 of its trains, some of which are almost 50 years old. Some of the trains will be hybrids, able to operate on diesel and electricity, and they’ll start replacing older trains in 2024.

“Not only are trains convenient and comfortable, they are also one of the most sustainable modes of transportation,” said Amtrak CEO Stephen Gardner. “With new equipment, modernized stations and net zero emissions, Amtrak can lead the drive toward sustainable transportation throughout the nation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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