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Amtrak Emissions Reduction Initiatives. Ellen McDermott February 23, 2005. Passenger Rail: A “Greener” Option. Amtrak is committed to protecting the environment and offers a lower emitting transportation option According to a 2004 Transportation Research Board report, public transportation:

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Amtrak Emissions Reduction Initiatives

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amtrak emissions reduction initiatives

Amtrak Emissions Reduction Initiatives

Ellen McDermott

February 23, 2005

passenger rail a greener option
Passenger Rail: A “Greener” Option
  • Amtrak is committed to protecting the environment and offers a lower emitting transportation option
  • According to a 2004 Transportation Research Board report, public transportation:
    • reduces CO2 emissions by more than 7.4 million tons per year in the U.S.
    • produces 95% less CO, at least 92% fewer VOCs, and nearly half as much CO2 and NOx for every passenger mile traveled than private vehicles
  • NRDC study (1992) indicated proposed Chicago-Detroit rail service was a significantly lower source of emissions than auto or air travel (grams per passenger mile)
northeast corridor electrification
Northeast Corridor Electrification
  • 1999 marked the completion of electrification of the north end of the Amtrak Northeast Corridor (New Haven, CT to Boston, MA)
  • 90 miles of electrified track eliminated over 30 daily diesel trains
  • Final EIS (1994) projected significant net reductions of daily emissions (esp. NOx and SO2) from the Amtrak electrified/high speed service when compared to auto and air travel
carb fuel
  • Amtrak is using California Air Resources Board (CARB) low-sulfur diesel fuel in California (about 300 ppm sulfur content)
green goat switcher
Green Goat Switcher
  • Diesel-battery hybrid locomotive tested for two months in Washington, D.C. in 2004
  • Current grant application in for Green Kid (1,000 hp version of 2,000 hp Green Goat) through Carl Moyer program for Los Angeles locomotive maintenance yard
purchase of new switchers
Purchase of New Switchers
  • Amtrak will purchase 10 new switcher locomotives in FY05, which meet EPA Tier 2 locomotive emission standards
  • Tier 2 standards are not required for passenger rail locomotives until 2007
idle reduction initiatives
Idle Reduction Initiatives
  • Administrative practice in place to turn off idling locomotives in environments greater than 40 F.
  • Installation of automatic start/stop devices in 80 locomotives during major overhauls in FY05-FY06
  • Applied for EPA/West Coast Diesel Emissions Collaborative grant for installation of the start/stop device in 25 more locomotives operating in CA, OR, and WA
chicago climate exchange ccx
Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)
  • Amtrak joined CCX as a charter member to influence rules on greenhouse gases and rail passenger operations
  • Committed to reducing green house gases (CO2) by these factors from the 1998-2001 baseline:
        • 1% in 2003
        • 2% in 2004
        • 3% in 2005
        • 4% in 2006
  • Exceeded the 1% reduction commitment for 2003 and will be submitting its 2004 diesel fuel use data to CCX by April 2005
ccx diesel data amtrak
CCX Diesel Data: Amtrak
  • 1998-2001 - baseline fuel use was 81 million gallons/year
  • 2003 - 78 million gallons of total diesel fuel use
  • Bottom Line - Amtrak had about 24,000 tons of CO₂ to sell in 2004 (current price is about $1.70 per ton)
looking forward
Looking Forward
  • Perhaps Amtrak and the PUC can develop a tracking system for emissions credits based on increase in rider ship
  • Increase in rider ship better reflects reduction of emissions than an increase in service, because increase in rider ship directly reflects less private vehicles on the road
  • Amtrak has been seeking cost-effective and innovative solutions to reduce diesel emissions, and looks forward to working with the California PUC and California Climate Action Registry to explore additional alternatives