Amtrak: Keeping America Running Green

Amtrak: Keeping America Running Green

This Earth Day, we’re celebrating a milestone achievement for Amtrak’s sustainability program — a score of 96B on our climate change submission to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

Protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable solutions for our everyday operations is a top priority at Amtrak. Here are 8 important facts on how we do just that:

1) Amtrak is 11% more energy efficient than airline travel and 31% more energy efficient than travel by car on a per passenger basis.

2) We’ve replaced over 10,000 obsolete and inefficient lighting fixtures – an effort that, along with other projects, has helped reduce over 24 million kWh of electricity and saved $2.8 million in energy costs since 2010.

3) Amtrak has implemented a new green power purchasing policy.  The policy provides guidelines for the purchase of “green” power for use within Amtrak operations, which supports the company’s commitment to reduce its environmental impacts.

4) Thanks to a strong commitment from Amtrak facilities that maintain our trains and track, we recycle more than 8,000 tons of industrial materials each year. This includes many unusual items, like train windows, mattress foam and pallets.

5) Amtrak “plugs in” trains at layover facilities when possible to use electrical power while they are being serviced.  This allows the diesel locomotives to be shut down, which minimizes engine idling and saves fuel.  This saves both energy and money!

6) Amtrak provides recycling containers on the Auto Train, Pacific Surfliner, and all Northeast Corridor trains (in the café car), and we are in the process of installing new recycling containers on all long-distance Superliner coach cars.

7) Amtrak approved an official corporate Sustainability Policy in July 2013 committing to economic, environmental, and social sustainability in our operations and services.

8) Through a partnership with, Amtrak offers passengers a way to offset the carbon footprint of their individual rail travel.

So the next time you’re on Amtrak, rest assured that your ride is green!

Looking for ways to get involved? Email to ask any questions or make suggestions regarding our sustainability initiatives.