1. Coradia iLint reaches Quebec
On June 17, over hundred passengers boarded the Coradia iLint for the first hydrogen-powered journey ever on North American soil. The train has a top speed of 140 km/h and acceleration and a breaking performance comparable to a standard regional diesel train, according to Alstom, but without the noise and the emissions. The sustainable mobility project reflects the joint efforts and commitments of several energy and mobility players.
“This project is made possible thanks to the collaboration of Chemin de fer de Charlevoix, which is owned by Groupe Le Massif,” said Claude Choquette, President of Groupe Le Massif and Chemin de fer de Charlevoix. “In addition to defining new foundations for sustainable tourism, the hydrogen train’s launch allows many visitors from around the world to discover Charlevoix while creating value for the entire region.”
2. UNESCO’s route
The train connects the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, in Quebec City, to Baie-Saint-Paul, a 90-kilometre trip in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve along the St. Lawrence River. The locomotive generates its own energy using fuel cells supplied by Accelera by Cummins, which has operations in Ontario, and is powered by green hydrogen, produced by Harnois Énergies at its Quebec City site.
“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,” said Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas.
Harnois Énergies, the hydrogen producer is also dealing with distribution. The company explained the hydrogen used for the Coradia iLint in Quebec will be produced at the Quebec City station and will then be transported via high-pressure tanks to Baie St-Paul.
We are very proud to see our Coradia iLint hydrogen train onboard and carry its first North American passengers here in Quebec.Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom Americas
3. Genesis in Germany
The Coradia iLint started operations in Germany in 2018 and has travelled more than 220,000 kilometres in eight European countries. Currently, the train is operating in commercial service on two different networks in Germany. The train is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that emits only water vapour during operation, while ensuring a quieter environment for passengers and those close to tracks.
4. Clean mobility
In September 2022, the Coradia iLint travelled the record distance of 1,175 kilometres without refuelling, Alstom reports.
The pioneering train is making headlines for its combination of innovative features — clean energy conversion, flexible energy storage in batteries, smart traction and energy management. To date, 41 trainsets have been ordered by clients in Europe. In Quebec, Alstom is planning the development of future platforms with hybrid, battery or green hydrogen propulsion specifically adapted to the North American market.