Amtrak Celebrates Earth Day with New Cleaner Train Equipment


Today we’re proud to announce that a vital piece of train equipment that we use every day in Washington, D.C., is being replaced with a more efficient version.

GenSet switchers are what our employees use to move trains around in the train yard. Today, local Washington dignitaries joined Amtrak’s vice president of government affairs and corporate communication in welcoming the newest GenSet to the historic Union Station!

The new GenSwet switcher has multiple smaller, independently controlled engines that shut down when not in use. Older versions have one large engine that idles continuously when in use.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton tests out the new GenSet  switcher locmotiveThis new GenSet has a special engine configuration that helps reduce diesel fuel consumption by about 50 percent and even produces pollutant emissions.

“This GenSet technology is an example of our commitment to providing environmentally sustainable and energy efficient service,” President and CEO Joe Boardman said. “Amtrak is on the right path to balancing the nation’s travel and mobility needs with mitigating the impact of our operations on the environment.”

In addition to upgrades to the D.C. units, Amtrak has GenSets operating at facilities in California and Illinois.

To learn more about our sustainability efforts, check out this interview with a senior engineer from our environmental group!