Data from Battery-Powered Trains Shows Swapping Batteries for Diesel Saves 12 Million Tons of Emissions Every Year

By Andy Corbley 06/05/24
Thanks to performance and operational data from their trains in Germany, the rail giant Siemens is convinced its new battery-powered trains can completely replace diesel locomotives in the UK.
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First High-Speed Rail Line in US Breaks Ground: Brightline Vegas to LA at 200 mph to Save Thousands in Emissions

By Andy Corbley 04/29/24
Last week, Dept. of Transportation officials celebrated the groundbreaking of America’s first high-speed rail line between LA and Las Vegas.
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Trains Are Cleaner Than Planes, Right?

By Hiroko Tabuchi 04/04/24
Recently, I did something I’ve long dreamed of. I took the train across America. The views were majestic, particularly as we swayed through the West. The Wi-Fi was bad, and the food not much better.…
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Why Has “Amtrak Joe” Turned His Back on Trains?

By Kate Aronoff 03/04/24
While campaigning for the presidency in 2020, Joe Biden promised, audaciously, to “spark the second great railroad revolution to propel our nation’s infrastructure into the future and help solve the climate emergency.” His famed love…
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Passenger trains could help combat climate change — if rail can actually get built

By Rachel Frazin 12/15/23
The Biden administration is investing billions in passenger rail, giving a boost to a potentially important tool for mitigating climate change.
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China’s new high-speed train just set a new record as the world’s fastest — and it could travel faster than an airplane

By Becca Inglis 09/04/23
It’s not often that a train can get you to your destination as fast as flying, but China’s new high-speed maglev train might just pull it off.
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High-speed rail is a huge opportunity for American workers

By Ray LaHood and Greg Regan 09/03/23
The Biden Administration is planning to use funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to construct multiple high-speed rail lines. This is a very big deal for American workers.
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Faster trains to begin carrying passengers as Amtrak’s monopoly falls

By Luz Lazo 08/30/23
Amtrak’s decades-old monopoly on intercity passenger rail travel will fall in the coming weeks when Florida becomes home to the fastest American trains outside the Northeast Corridor.
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Train carrying hazardous materials derails and bridge collapses into Montana’s Yellowstone River

By Graeme Massie 06/25/23
A train carrying asphalt and sulphur derailed into Montana’s majestic Yellowstone River after a bridge collapse, officials reported on Saturday.
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Fossil fuels, planes, ships and shares – What will be taxed for climate funds?

By Isabella Kaminski 06/21/23
Tomorrow, world leaders meet at a summit in Paris to drink coffee and discuss whether they can develop a new global financing pact that works better for people and the environment.
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Rail-based mobile energy storage as a grid-reliability solution for climate extremes

Transporting containerized batteries by rail between power-sector regions could aid the US electric grid in withstanding and recovering from disruption. This solution is shown to be a technically feasible and cost-effective means of ensuring grid…
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Railroad industry sues to block new locomotive pollution rules in California

By Adam Beam and Josh Funk 06/17/23
The railroad industry on Friday sued to block new environmental rules in California, arguing they would force the premature retirement of about 25,000 diesel-powered locomotives across the country long before their zero-emission counterparts are ready…
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Amtrak has shared more details about its vision for improving transportation across America – download the report and check out the detailed maps:

Investment in America’s infrastructure is critical to the economic and environmental well-being of our nation. As we look to the future, Amtrak is exploring new opportunities to better connect communities, reduce our carbon footprint, and…

Freight Railroads & Climate Change

Our planet and nation face challenges that demand communities, businesses, and policymakers come together and create solutions that will fuel economic recovery and combat climate change. With nearly 200 years of experience moving America through…


AAR calls for ‘pragmatic’ policies to address climate change

The Association of American Railroads on Tuesday issued a report calling for government policies it says can address climate change through “economically grounded solutions” as a partnership with the rail industry.
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California’s $100 Billion Electric Bullet Train Will Be Fully Solar Powered

By Alan Ohnsman   06/12/23  
Elon Musk unveiled his futuristic hyperloop concept in 2013 by taking swipes at California’s high-speed rail project, deriding it as “a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one…
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When it comes to climate change, Amtrak is stuck in a catch-22

By L.V. Anderson   05/29/23  
In 1984, when Andrew Bader was 5, his parents took him on a cross-country train from California to New York. It was a special trip, one of the last experiences Bader shared with both parents…
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Europe is trying to ditch planes for trains. Here’s how that’s going

By Miquel Ros   05/27/23  
Ever since the “flight shame” movement began encouraging travelers to seek greener alternatives to jet planes, many in Europe have been looking to the continent’s extensive rail network to replace short-haul air travel.
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Service Advisory

By L.V. Anderson   05/24/23  
In 1984, when Andrew Bader was 5, his parents took him on a cross-country train from California to New York. It was a special trip, one of the last experiences Bader shared with both parents…
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Threats to rail business continuity

By Bas Bollinger   05/23/23  
When it comes to public transit, protecting against climate change and economic shocks is a major challenge to ensure long-term business resilience. The effects of COVID-19 are still being felt across the rail industry, and…
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Will ‘Buy America’ derail bullet trains?

By Arianna Skibell   05/23/23  
High-speed trains may be the latest victim of the Biden administration’s “Buy America” policy, advocates fear. President Joe Biden wants all materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in the U.S., and his…
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California becomes the first state to adopt emission rules for trains

By The Associated Press   04/27/23  
California approved Thursday a first-in-the-nation, ambitious rule limiting rail pollution to aggressively cut greenhouse gas emissions in the state's latest move to establish itself as a global leader in the fight against climate change.
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Smarter Railroad Tracks Are Boosting Train Safety And Efficiency

By Alan Ohnsman   01/14/23  
Think “advanced rail technology” and bullet trains or magnetic-levitation systems might come to mind. But what about the steel rails freight and passenger trains run on? Advances in machine learning, big data collection and voice-recognition…
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LIRR shelves battery power, cites cost, reliability issues

By Alfonso A. Castillo   08/06/22  
Battery-operated train technology, which the LIRR hoped would revolutionize how it operates nonelectrified tracks, has turned out to be too costly, inconvenient and risky to implement any time soon, the railroad said. Long Island Rail…
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A first step toward high-speed rail in the Pacific Northwest

By Melissa Santos   06/10/22  
Washington state is ponying up $150 million to plan a high-speed rail line connecting Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, British Columbia — although there's still a long way to go before the project becomes reality.
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Climate Change Poses a Huge Threat to Railroads. Environmental Engineers Have Ideas for How to Combat That

By Leah Campbell   04/08/22  
Much of the world still relies heavily on railroads to move people and products. But railway infrastructure—from overhead wires to tracks—is at high risk from climate change and associated extreme weather.
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How Electric Rail Could Be More Important Than Electric Cars

By Sergio Alberto Romero   02/08/22  
Electric cars are going to be important over the long term, that’s without a doubt. The fact is, no matter what industry or sector we’re talking about the less reliance we have on fossil fuels…
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Former SpaceX engineers bring autonomous, electric rail vehicle startup out of stealth

By Rebecca Bellan   01/19/22  
Parallel Systems, a company founded by three former SpaceX engineers to build autonomous battery-electric rail vehicles, came out of stealth mode on Wednesday with a $49.55 million Series A raise. The company, which has raised…
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The infrastructure package puts $66 billion into rail. It could power the biggest expansion in Amtrak’s 50-year history.

By Luz Lazo   11/08/21  
The funding would help rebuild the Northeast Corridor, but is also a path to bringing service to new cities and towns nationwide.
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High-speed train to Las Vegas is hailed as an eco jackpot. But will it harm desert sheep?

By Louis Sahagún   09/16/21  
As daylight rose over the parched and jagged Soda Mountains recently, an emaciated-looking bighorn ewe and two gaunt lambs hoofed carefully over volcanic outcroppings as they searched hungrily for increasingly rare clumps of greenery. In…
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Why rail transportation is gradually going to replace air travel

By Enrique Dans   09/06/21  
A good article and video on Euronews, “Paris to Berlin in an hour: welcome to the future of high-speed rail travel in Europe”, outlines the three key ideas for the future of decarbonized transportation in…
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Is the Hyperloop for Real?

By Lloyd Alter   08/24/21  
Is the hyperloop for real? It's a question we have been asking since Elon Musk first came up with the word. Not the concept—it's been around since the 19th century. Nor did Musk have any…
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Battery-powered trains could be a climate game changer. Is everyone all aboard?

By Ralph Vartabedian   07/05/21  
Colossal freight locomotives are a fixture of the American landscape, but their 4,400-horsepower engines collectively burn 3.5 billion gallons of diesel annually, at a time when railroads and other fossil fuel users face pressure to…
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Railroads To Pour Cold Renewable Energy Water On Fossil Energy Stakeholders

By Tina Casey   06/29/21  
There is no love lost between the notorious Koch brothers and the nation’s railroad industry, and the relationship is about to get a lot unlovelier. A massive new, first-of-its-kind renewable energy transmission line is taking…
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High-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress

By Karl Evers-hillstrom   06/15/21  
High-speed rail is getting a last-minute push from lawmakers and lobbyists as Congress debates how to revamp the nation’s infrastructure. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week advanced a $547 billion infrastructure bill that…
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First Fully Battery-Electric Line-Haul Loco Begins Testing On BNSF Between Stockton And Barstow

By Alan Kandel   01/09/21  
BNSF Railway Company … and Wabtec’s … exploration of the future potential of battery-electric locomotives crosses another significant milestone this week as they begin testing the technology in revenue service between Barstow and Stockton, California.…
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Planning for the future: Waste management solutions from LI’s leader

Long Island is facing a crisis. Within the next four years we will run out of space to put the one million tons of garbage Long Islanders produce annually. If we don’t act now to…
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It’s Time For America To Get Serious About Fixing The Trains

by Amy Crawford   06/23/20  
Instead of spending billions to bail out airlines, advocates argue for a more carbon-friendly pandemic investment: railroad travel. ...
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