Coradia iLint (Photo: Alstom)

CANADA: An Alstom Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel cell multiple-unit is to operate demonstration passenger services on the Chemin de fer de Charlevoix from June 17 to September 30.

The return service along the St Lawrence River between Parc de la Chute-Montmorency on the outskirts of Québec City and Baie-St-Paul is being organised by the province, short line operator Chemin de fer Charlevoix, tourist train operator Train de Charlevoix, hydrogen production technology company HTEC and Harnois Énergies, which will produce the green hydrogen at its Québec City site.

Train de Charlevoix

Train de Charlevoix DMU.

The aim is to assess the steps needed to deploy hydrogen traction in the North American market.

‘Alstom was the first to put a hydrogen train into service in Europe and we aim to be the first in the Americas as well’, said Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas, on February 3. ‘With only 1% of the networks electrified in our region, this technology will provide an alternative to diesel.’

Coradia iLint trainsets have been in commercial service in Germany since 2018, and have travelled more than 220 000 km in eight European countries. So far 41 units have been ordered.

Alstom has opened an innovation centre in the Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville district of Montréal to develop hybrid, battery and green hydrogen propulsion adapted to the North American market. The Coradia iLint demonstration will see the centre’s engineers work with Québec’s R&D sector and industrial partners in the battery and hydrogen industries.

‘Québec is positioning itself as a centre of expertise in sustainable transportation’, said the province’s Premier François Legault. ‘Promising innovations such as Alstom’s will not only help us achieve our ambitious climate change targets, but they will also be able to be exported elsewhere in the world.’