Octa's transportation blog

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner Trains Are Now Operating with Renewable Diesel

This article originally appeared in the Orange County Register.

Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner passenger trains, which run through Southern California, are now operating on renewable diesel in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The renewable diesel is made from raw materials like cooking oil, said the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency which manages the train service.

The adoption of renewable diesel will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 63% throughout its lifecycle, according to Jewel Edson, chair of the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency’s board of directors.

“The adoption of renewable diesel for our Pacific Surfliner service is an important milestone in our ongoing commitment to environmental preservation and the fight against climate change,” said Edson. “We take immense pride in joining forces with Amtrak, state and federal agencies, rail equipment manufacturers, and fuel distributors who share our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainability.”

The Pacific Surfliner fleet has already transitioned to renewable diesel and will have no impact on riders’ costs, said Puja Thomas-Patel, marketing and communications manager at LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency.

Amtrak last year announced its goal to have net-zero emissions by 2045. Part of those plans include replacing older, diesel-powered cars with more efficient ones that emit nearly 90% of the pollutant nitrogen oxide, according to the Washington Post.

Already, the Pacific Surfliner trains are using diesel-electric Charger locomotives, which have Tier IV emissions certification from the Environmental Protection Agency, said Thomas-Patel. That makes them “one of the cleanest diesel-electric passenger locomotives currently in operation,” Thomas-Patel said.

The Pacific Surfliner train service operates through a 351-mile coastal stretch between San Diego, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. It is the busiest state-supported intercity passenger rail route in the country.

OCTA provides all necessary administrative support for the LOSSAN Agency and its Board of Directors. For more information, visit here.