Amtrak Aims for Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2045

An Amtrak train at the Amtrak Memphis Central Station in Memphis, Tennessee. An Amtrak train at the Amtrak Memphis Central Station in Memphis, Tennessee. (Jon Cherry/Bloomberg)

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Amtrak plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across the network by 2045, the rail company announced Sept. 22, marking the latest move by a company to address its commitment to reduce carbon footprints.

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

Amtrak also plans to reduce its diesel fuel usage by leveraging advanced technology and achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2030. The company will aim to meet these goals by collaborating with state partners and experts, according to a press release. Amtrak also will further research in fuel cells, hydrogen, batteries and other zero-emission technologies, per the release.

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

The announcement follows President Joe Biden’s tentative railway labor agreement that averted an economically perilous nationwide work stoppage less than two months ahead of the November midterm elections.

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