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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak reports progress on sustainability initiatives

The report details the national intercity passenger railroad’s progress against annual and long-term goals to reduce its carbon footprint and expand service to new U.S. markets.
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Amtrak yesterday released its fiscal-year 2021 sustainability report, which details the national intercity passenger railroad’s progress on annual and long-term goals to reduce its carbon footprint and expand service to new U.S. markets.

Highlights from the report include Amtrak's efforts to:

• Use cleaner, more climate-friendly equipment. A "significant share" of Amtrak’s federal funding under the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIIJA) will support new train equipment. On the Northeast Corridor and various state-supported routes, the equipment will include new trainsets, dual-power equipment that can run on electric or diesel and other equipment that can run on battery or diesel. On long-distance routes, the IIJA funds will support the purchase of fuel-efficient Tier 4-compliant ALC-42 locomotives;

• Expand energy-efficient passenger-rail service. In FY21, Amtrak released its Amtrak Connects US plan to develop and expand intercity passenger-rail corridors. The vision seeks to add service to 160 new communities, create 39 new routes and enhance 25 routes;

• Improve capacity, reliability and performance on existing routes. Guided by the Connect NEC 2035 service development plan, the IIJA investments will make the Northeast Corridor a more efficient, effective and resilient mode of transportation; and

• Add Acela solar-powered gates. In 2021, Amtrak designed and deployed solar-powered technology to improve security on then-Northeast Corridor right-of-way prior to the launch of new Acela service.

"Providing high-quality, low-carbon rail service that takes people out of cars and planes is one of the most efficient ways to drive emissions reductions," said Dennis Newman, Amtrak executive vice president of strategy, planning and accessibility, in a press release.

The entire report can be read by clicking on this link.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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