CEO Addresses Amtrak's Commitment to the Environment

Joe Boardman

Today, I had the pleasure of participating on a transportation panel at the On Track for Clean and Green Transport Climate Change event at the future Moyihan Station in New York City. I was among colleagues who like me, are committed to finding sustainable transportation practices.

For 43 years, Amtrak has connected small towns to city centers. As the country has evolved and grown, so has the demand for transportation. Simply put, more Americans need a ride.

Every day, we run 305 trains on tracks that crisscross the country. Our intricate railroad system is one that we value and one that not only benefits our riders and state partners, but also the environment.

Historically, Americans have relied on the automobile to address their transportation needs. But with about 85% of the nation’s population (roughly 267 million people), concentrated in or around urban centers, and the growing demand for a more environmentally-friendly mode of transportation, the shift from road to rail is upon us.

Rail is 30% more energy efficient than cars and 11% more energy efficient than planes. Everyday our dedicated employees across the country work to decrease our footprint on the environment and increase our sustainable practices.

We’ve installed energy-efficient lighting at our facilities, we’ve reduced locomotive fuel consumption by installing anti-idling devices and we’ve purchased the ACS-64— electric locomotives equipped with regenerative breaking. Our investment in the future and our commitment to the environment is real.

But we can and want to do more. We want to purchase equipment that’s more efficient, lowers our emissions rates, and gives us more capacity. For us, we know that adopting environmentally-friendly business practices isn’t just a box to check. We know it has to be a thread in the fabric of Amtrak, and we’re committed to making that happen. 

—Joe Boardman
President & CEO of Amtrak