amtrak sets goal for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

Amtrak sets goal for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045

AmtrakAs part of their vision for the future, Amtrak has pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across their network by 2045.

This net zero emissions target focuses on expanding efforts across Amtrak’s entire carbon footprint to reduce environmental impacts from operations while safely moving people.

“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.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg congratulated Amtrak for their commitment to further reduce their carbon footprint.

“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,” Buttigieg said.

Climate change requires collective action to curb emissions and mitigate irreversible environmental and societal damage.

Amtrak plans to take the following actions:

  • Achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across Amtrak’s network by 2045: Begin with efforts to increase energy efficiency, followed by the implementation of renewable fuels and energy.
  • Reduce diesel fuel use through advanced technologies: Leverage industry-leading research and testing in collaboration with state partners and experts to progress innovation and research in fuel-cells, hydrogen, batteries and other zero-emission technologies.
  • Achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030: Continually focus on energy efficiency upgrades to reduce consumption and gradually meet all remaining needs using carbon-free electricity through renewable energy generation and power purchase agreements.

“We are seeing a new generation of travelers who are conscious of their environmental impact. This is providing a significant opportunity to attract rail riders well into the future,” said Amtrak president Roger Harris.

With a historic investment in improving and expanding passenger rail, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signifies the important role trains play in the future of sustainable transportation. Funds from BIL will be used to support this target by helping procure a more sustainable fleet and make other improvements to aged assets.

Learn more about Amtrak’s approach to sustainability at

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.