According to the 2016 U.S. Department of Energy Data Book, Amtrak is 33 percent more efficient than traveling by car and 12 percent more efficient than domestic airline travel on a per-passenger-mile basis. In addition to rail travel offering lower emissions per passenger mile, Amtrak has been reducing fuel and energy usage year-over-year with several initiatives including energy efficiency upgrades, improved train handling, and more energy efficient locomotives. Since 2010, we have avoided more than 180,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent — comparable to nearly 40,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year.
For more information on our sustainability initiatives, goals and greenhouse gas inventory, take a look at the Amtrak Sustainability Report.
Source: Transportation Energy Data Book, 2016
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. If you're traveling long-distance off the Northeast Corridor, break your travel into smaller segments for the calculator. For example, if you’re traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles by train, your segments would be Chicago to Kansas City, Kansas City to Albuquerque, and Albuquerque to Los Angeles. Check out our interactive travel planner to find the best route segments.