North America will have its very first hydrogen-powered train this summer season.
Alstom, a French rail transportation company, announced earlier this year that it’s shipping one of its new hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint trains to Quebec for a summer demonstration.
The train will be operated by rail service Train De Charlevoix, and people traveling on the picturesque route along the St. Lawrence River will be able to get an innovative, hydrogen-fueled ride starting June 9.
The hydrogen train runs thanks to fuel cells — battery-like systems that don’t require recharging — which produce electrical energy from the hydrogen in the train’s tanks. Hydrogen produces heat and electricity when combined with oxygen, and the whole thing only emits water vapor and condensed water as an emission.
Alstom first started running two of its bright blue Coradia iLint trains in Europe in 2018, and it has delivered 41 more since then. They are considered the first hydrogen-powered trains in the world.
Take a look at the Coradia iLint train:
The Coradia iLint train is the world’s first passenger train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
Starting June 9, the bright blue train, which had its commercial debut in Germany, will start a test run in Quebec.
The hydrogen train will be operated by the tourist rail service Train de Charlevoix, which will run it during its summer season.
Train de Charlevoix’s summer season runs from June 9 to October 22. The hydrogen train will end its season on September 30.
The Coradia iLint train will run between Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, right outside Québec City…
and the city of Baie-Saint-Paul, 50 miles up north along the St. Lawrence River.
Tickets start at $99 Canadian, or $73 US.
Running on hydrogen, the train’s only emissions are water vapor and condensed water.
Hydrogen produces heat and electricity when combined with oxygen in fuel cells.
The hydrogen is stored as a gas in holding tanks on the roof of the train.
The train Coradia iLint train that will operate in Quebec can run for approximately 310 miles without stopping for fuel, using the nearly 300 pounds of hydrogen in its tanks.
While in Europe, hydrogen filling stations for passenger trains already exist, the train in Quebec will be fueled with hydrogen, which is in gaseous form, at the Baie-Saint-Paul depot.
A newer version of the Coradia iLint train covered over 700 miles without refueling in September 2022.
The train ride is particularly quieter, thanks to the electric motor, which has a low noise level compared to diesel trains.
The Coradia iLint was developed by Alstom, a French rail transportation company.
It first entered into commercial service in 2018 in Germany.
The Quebec test run, which is scheduled to end in October, should help Alstom and other local players figure out how to best bring hydrogen trains to North America, where over 90% of the train tracks are not electrified.