Amtrak provides travellers with CO2 Savings data

  • April 27, 2021
  • William Payne

US railway operator Amtrak is providing passengers travelling on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), between Boston and Washington, D.C., with their trip-specific carbon emissions savings. The operator launched the new service in conjunction with Earth Day 2021.

This new feature will serve as a pilot programme as Amtrak plans to introduce carbon emissions savings on all tickets across the national network in the future. The emissions calculations are generated from the EPA’s GHG Emission Hub, which multiplies the mode of travel factor (kg CO2e/pm) by passenger miles (pm) and equals total kgs of CO2e (per passenger). 

Since 2010, Amtrak has reduced emissions by 20% with a target to achieve 40% reduction by 2030. 

Savings are calculated two ways: first by showing riders how much they saved by not driving and second, how much they saved by not flying. That difference between train travel and each of these alternative modes is the passenger’s carbon emissions savings (Co2e) with taking Amtrak. 

On the NEC, travel with Amtrak produces 83% less emissions than driving alone and up to 73% less than flying.

Amtrak’s NEC trains are the only all-electric trains in the United States, and form part of the rail operator’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint. Amtrak’s new Acela fleet will reduce current energy consumption further by at least 20% due to the new trains being lighter.

“Climate change continues to be one of the world’s most pressing issues, and we want passengers to know that travelling on Amtrak can help lower their carbon footprint compared to travelling in another manner,” said Amtrak Vice President, Northeast Corridor Service Line Caroline Decker. “Adding this feature to our ticket reflects Amtrak’s commitment to sustainability, and provides our customers with real data on their carbon emissions savings when they ride an Amtrak train. We know that train travel is better for the environment and now we are able to quantify that savings for each NEC customer.”