Amtrak Continues Advancing Zero Emissions Technology

Request for information marks major step towards net zero

WASHINGTON – Amtrak has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to seek options to help transform the company’s rail fleet with zero-emissions technology. This important step marks progress towards the company’s long-range goal of eliminating emissions used to power Amtrak’s trains, which already provide one of the most sustainable modes of travel for many trips.

“Finding the cleanest technologies to carry customers across our vast network will be transformative as we deliver a new era of rail,” said Amtrak President Roger Harris. “We are excited to take this important step toward providing safe and reliable service with a smaller impact on the environment.”

All qualified parties are encouraged to respond to the RFI, which supports the US National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization by 2050. Aiming to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2045 sits at the heart of Amtrak’s Climate Commitment. To reach this ambitious goal, the company has:

  • Committed to doubling ridership from 2019 levels to 66 million riders per year by 2040, displacing more energy-intensive cars and plane trips
  • Procured more than half of the company’s electricity from carbon-free sources with the goal of achieving 100% by 2030
  • Supported California partners in a May 2023 switch to renewable diesel (RD) on Amtrak Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquins trains
  • Ordered the following:
    • 83 new Amtrak Airo trains that will operate on the fully-electrified Northeast Corridor and on routes throughout the country producing 90% less particulate emissions in diesel operations
    • 28 new all-electric, high-speed Acela trains that are designed to use 40% less energy per passenger than the existing Acela fleet
    • EPA Tier 4 compliant Siemens Charger locomotives which significantly reduce criteria air pollutants (CAP) compared to existing equipment

Much of Amtrak’s passenger fleet is powered by zero-emission equipment, including 108 electric Northeast Regional and Acela locomotives. Electric-powered locomotives produce no emissions when powered by carbon-free electricity. The results of the RFI will inform Amtrak’s future decisions to procure the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly fleet for deployment across Amtrak’s network.

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