Pacific Surfliner Trains Shift to Renewable Diesel for Sustainable Rail Travel

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Rail Service

In a move towards greener and more sustainable rail travel, the Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, responsible for managing the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service, proudly declares its passenger rail fleet’s transition to a renewable diesel (RD) fuel alternative.

The Pacific Surfliner trains, a vital mode of transportation in Southern California, will now be powered by renewable diesel derived from sources like used cooking oil, as opposed to fossil diesel derived from crude oil. This shift to RD is expected to yield a substantial reduction of approximately 63 percent in greenhouse gas emissions throughout its lifecycle when compared to traditional fossil diesel. This transformation significantly enhances the sustainability of rail travel while holding the potential to mitigate other harmful emissions, including fine particulates and nitrogen oxides, leading to an improvement in local air quality.

Jewel Edson, Chair of the LOSSAN Agency Board of Directors, emphasized the significance of this transition, stating, “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.”

This transformation is the outcome of a collaborative effort engaging key stakeholders, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Amtrak, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority, and various other partners, all united in their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainability.

It’s important to note that the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is already an energy-efficient mode of travel, being 46 percent more energy-efficient than traveling by car. Additionally, the Pacific Surfliner presently operates with diesel-electric Charger locomotives. The transition to renewable diesel amplifies these efforts, marking a significant stride in reducing the Pacific Surfliner’s and passengers’ carbon footprint.