Amtrak aims for net-zero emissions from passenger trains by 2045

The company said it will collaborate with state partners on new technology, including fuel cells, hydrogen and batteries to reduce its diesel fuel use. It also will reduce electricity consumption and meet remaining needs through renewable energy generation and power purchase agreements. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 23 (UPI) — Amtrak has pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions throughout its passenger rail service by 2045 with help from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The company announced a series of actions Thursday to meet the target, including implementing renewable fuels and energy, using advanced technologies to reduce diesel fuel use, and achieving 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030.

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

The company said it will collaborate with state partners on new technology, including fuel cells, hydrogen and batteries to reduce its diesel fuel use. It also will reduce electricity consumption and meet remaining needs through renewable energy generation and power purchase agreements.

The rail service didn’t put a price estimate on the target but said funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help procure a more sustainable fleet and make other improvements.

Signed by President Joe Biden in November, the $1.2 trillion law allocated $66 billion to rail, representing the largest federal investment in passenger rail.

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

“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.”

Last year, Amtrak announced a $7.3 billion plan to upgrade 40% of its trains by 2031. That plan includes a $3.4 billion contract with Siemens Mobility for 73 hybrid-powered trains with the possibility of up to 140 more.

The transportation sector accounts for 27% for greenhouse gas emissions, with rail accounting for 2% of that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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