In 2014, Amtrak established a multidisciplinary Climate Resilience Task Group to explore potential climate risks and respond with recommendations. Since 2015, we conducted three assessments, and the results indicated the likeliest of Amtrak’s climate vulnerabilities are related to storm surges, precipitation and sea level rise, although extreme temperatures and mudslides also impact service.
In 2019, Amtrak leadership made the “development and implementation of a climate resilience strategic plan” a goal to achieve — beginning in FY20. Because climate impacts can affect every aspect of Amtrak’s business, we’re taking a multi-disciplinary approach to leverage the information gathered during the vulnerability assessments and explore where immediate actions will be most impactful. Going forward, we plan to:
- Incorporate climate considerations and vulnerability scores into the enterprise asset management system for capital planning, project prioritization, maintenance and State of Good Repair;
- Review and adapt engineering design standards to incorporate resilience and long-term sustainability in the face of changing weather patterns and operating conditions; and
- Identify and include adaptation measures to protect our assets and maintain reliable service.