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Travel Green with Amtrak

Travel Green® with Amtrak

Did you know that traveling by rail contributes less per passenger mile to greenhouse gas emissions than either cars or airplanes? According to U.S. Department of Energy data, Amtrak is 11 percent more efficient than domestic airline travel and 31 percent more efficient than auto travel on a per-passenger-mile basis. Amtrak is also committed to making recycling an integral part of train travel — onboard, in our stations and in our train yards.

Energy Used in BTUs

Amtrak is a charter member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world's first legally-binding integrated greenhouse gas reduction and trading system. When Amtrak joined the Exchange in 2003, it committed to cutting diesel emissions by 6 percent by 2010. This represents the largest percentage of reduction committed to in the United States on a voluntary basis and is the first commitment made by a transportation company.

* U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory Data on Fuel Efficiency - Transportation Energy Data Book (Edition 33), Table 2.12


What is a Carbon Footprint?What is a Carbon Footprint?The Ways We RecycleThe Ways We RecycleEarth Friendly Travel on the Auto TrainEarth Friendly Travel on the Auto TrainAcela - the Green Way to Get ThereAcela - the Green Way to Get ThereEnvironmental ReportsEnvironmental Reports

What is a Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint is a measure of the effect you have on the climate in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases you produce (measured in units of carbon dioxide). Many of your daily activities generate carbon emissions which have an impact on the health of the environment.

You can reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting your rail travel with contributions to projects like reforestation, renewable energy development and energy efficiency technologies.

To get a sense of how your travel on Amtrak will impact your carbon footprint, enter the city and state of your origin and destination, along with the number of passengers into the Rail Calculator.

Learn more about how you can offset some of the impacts of your carbon footprint.

There's More to Recycling than Cans and Newspapers

  • Amtrak Recycles All of our trains feature onboard recycling receptacles for bottles, cans and paper.
  • Our mechanical and engineering facilities recycle materials generated from repair and maintenance work including, steel parts, scrap metal, batteries, used oil and more. In one year alone, Amtrak recycled more than 9,800 tons of steel parts and scrap, 90 tons of wire, 225,000 gallons of used oil, and 300,000 pounds of paper from these facilities.
  • Recycling receptacles in Amtrak-owned station concourses and food courts help us encourage our customers to recycle whenever possible.

Save Your Car and Help the Earth Every Time You Ride

Auto Train Image When you ride the Auto Train and take your vehicle off the road, you save yourself traffic headaches, time and money while also giving the earth a break by minimizing your impact on the environment. The Auto Train emits about half the greenhouse gasses that would be emitted if all the 370 cars the Auto Train can transport were driven on the highway. Put another way, the amount of greenhouse gasses reduced each year by using the Auto Train is equivalent to taking 3,478 cars off the road for a full year.

Sources: Amtrak & U.S. EPA data

Acela — the Green Way to Get There

Acela Express - The Green Way to Get There When it comes to defining green travel, Amtrak leaves its competitors green with envy. Our powerful electric propulsion engines save precious resources and reduce greenhouse gases by consuming 11 percent less energy per passenger-mile compared to airplanes, and 31 percent less energy than automobiles. Yet with two locomotives on each train, Acela generates enough strength and speed to get you from Washington D.C. to Boston — and cities along the way — safely, efficiently and in an eco-friendly way.

Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Data on Fuel Efficiency - Transportation Energy Data Book (Edition 33), Table 2.12

Environmental Reports

Check out these helpful reports to get more details about our commitment to environmentally friendly travel.