Hydrogen Train Enters Service in Canada

Alstom’s hydrogen train has entered revenue service in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada. In June, passengers boarded the Coradia iLint for the first hydrogen train journey ever on the North American continent. The train connected the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency in Quebec City to Baie-Saint-Paul, a 55-mile (89-km) trip in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve along the St. Lawrence River. The Coradia iLint, which generates its own energy using fuel cells supplied by Accelera by Cummins, which has operations in Ontario, is powered by green hydrogen produced by Harnois Énergies at its Quebec City site.

The province of Quebec will be the first jurisdiction to run a train with zero direct emissions powered by green hydrogen. The commercial operation of this train will allow Alstom and its partners to better assess the subsequent steps for the development of an ecosystem for hydrogen propulsion technology and its penetration into the North American market. The Hydrogen Research Institute of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières will accompany Alstom in the analysis of the results of this demonstration project.

The Coradia iLint first entered commercial service in Germany in 2018 and has traveled more than 136,000 miles (218,871 km) in eight European countries. Currently, Coradia iLint is operating in commercial service on two different networks in Germany. The train is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that emits only water vapor during operation. On September 15, 2022, the Coradia iLint travelled the record distance of 730 miles (1175 km) without refueling.

Designed especially for non-electrified lines, to date, 41 trainsets have been ordered by clients in Europe.

“We are very proud to see our Coradia iLint hydrogen train onboard and carry its first North American passengers here in Quebec,” said Michael Keroullé, president of Alstom Americas. “Alstom is fully involved in the decarbonization of mobility in the world and particularly in America. Hydrogen technology offers an alternative to diesel and demonstrates our ability to provide more sustainable mobility solutions to our customers, agencies, and operators, as well as passengers. It will also provide an extraordinary showcase for Quebec’s green hydrogen ecosystem, which is under development.”