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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Rail: Getting On Track for Decarbonization

Train with blue sky in background

Federal Railroad Administration Offices of Railroad Safety, and Research, Data and Innovation hosted an international workshop on rail decarbonization from May 15 – 18, 2023 in Denver, CO.

This workshop convened in-person discussions between US and international rail and clean energy experts on rail decarbonization technologies and strategies.  Presentations covered topics related to advanced energy storage and rail propulsion systems, hydrogen fuel, bioenergy technologies, and more. Discussions also focused on safety of clean energy technologies, operating best practices for improving efficiency, as well as the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs) from freight and passenger rail systems in the US and globally.

FRA’s Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety and Chief Safety Officer Karl Alexy kicked off the workshop with welcome and introductory remarks during the plenary session. Subsequent plenary session speakers were from FRA’s Environmental Program Office, US Department Of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency, and California Air Resources Board.  Technical sessions, followed the plenary session, covering presentations from international speakers representing: Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, Japan, International Union of Railways (UIC). US speakers were from Amtrak, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Association of American Railroads (AAR), BNSF Railway, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), CNGMotive, CPKC, CSX, DB E.C.O. Group, HDR, Inc., Mott MacDonald, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Progress Rail, Southwest Research Institute, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Stadler, US Navy.

The workshop resulted in a number of research ideas, collaborations and networking among both public entities and industrial partners.

Workshop Presentations

Welcome and Kick-Off

Rail Decarbonization Strategies from Around the World, Part 1

Get on-Board! – Moving North American Rail Industry Towards Decarbonization, Part I

Global Trek Towards Decarbonization

Welcome and Kick-Off - Day 2

Infrastructure & Resiliency – The Missing Link!

“Standing Up” the Standards

Optimizing Current Technologies and Operations for More Efficient Rail

Get on-Board! – Moving North American Rail Industry Towards Decarbonization, Part II