First Hydrogen Train Enters Service in Quebec


train runs on track

ALSTOM, ALONG WITH ITS PARTNERS THE Government of Quebec, Chemin de fer Charlevoix, Train de Charlevoix, Harnois Énergies, HTEC and Accelera by Cummins, ran a hydrogen-powered train recently from the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency in Quebec City to Baie-Saint-Paul, a 90-km trip in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve along the St. Lawrence River. This was the first hydrogen train journey on the North American continent.

The Coradia iLint entered commercial service in Germany in 2018 and has traveled more than 220,000 km in eight European countries. The train generates its own energy using fuel cells supplied by Accelera and is powered by green hydrogen produced by Harnois Énergies at its Quebec City site. It has a top speed of 140 km/h and acceleration and braking performance comparable to a standard regional diesel train, but without the noise and emissions. Coradia iLint has recorded a distance of 1,175 km without the need to refuel. To date, 41 trainsets have been ordered by clients in Europe.

The commercial operation of the Coradia iLint will allow Alstom and its partners to better assess subsequent steps for the development of an ecosystem for hydrogen propulsion technology and its penetration into the North American market. “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,” said Michael Keroullé, president, Alstom Americas. “It will also provide an extraordinary showcase for Quebec’s green hydrogen ecosystem, which is under development.”

In addition, service of the Coradia iLint in Quebec is the first mandate of Alstom’s new innovation center in the Americas, which is dedicated to sustainable mobility solutions. The primary mission of the center, located in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, is the development of future platforms with hybrid, battery or green hydrogen propulsion specifically adapted to the North American market.