ALSTOM has announced that it will demonstrate its hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint train in the Canadian province of Quebec this summer.

According to the manufacturer, Quebec will be “the first jurisdiction in the Americas to run a train with zero direct emissions powered by green hydrogen.”

The Coradia iLint will carry passengers from Parc de la Chute-Montmorency on the outskirts of Quebec City to Baie-St-Paul on the Charlevoix Railway, a tourist line running along the St Lawrence River through a Unesco biosphere reserve.

The commercial service demonstration will see the hydrogen-powered train operate from Wednesday to Saturday from June 17 to September 30.

Alstom is conducting the trial in partnership with the province of Quebec, the Charlevoix Railway, Harnois Énergies and HTEC. The train will be powered by green hydrogen produced by Harnois Énergies at its Quebec City site.

The trial will allow the partners to better assess subsequent steps for the development of hydrogen propulsion technology and its penetration into the North American market, according to Alstom.

Trials of the Coradia iLint first began in Germany in September 2018 and Alstom says that it has now operated over more than 220,000km in in eight European countries, including a record run of 1175km without refuelling on September 15 2022.

A total of 41 Coradia iLint trains have been ordered by customers in Europe. In North America, a hydrogen-powered train supplied by Stadler is due enter service in 2024 with San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) of California.

The Quebec trial is the first project being undertaken by the new innovation centre established by Alstom at its Americas headquarters in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville east of Montreal.

The main purpose of the innovation centre is “the development of future platforms with hybrid, battery or green hydrogen propulsion specifically adapted to the North American market,” says Alstom.

Over 700 Alstom engineering staff are based at Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, and they will be working with Quebec’s research and innovation sector, as well as with industrial partners in the battery and hydrogen industries.

“With only 1% of the networks electrified in our region, this technology will provide an alternative to diesel,” says Mr Michael Keroullé, president of Alstom Americas.

“This project will demonstrate our capabilities to provide more sustainable mobility solutions to customers, agencies and operators, as well as to passengers.”

“Quebec is positioning itself as a centre of expertise in sustainable transportation on the continent,” says Mr François Legault, premier of Quebec. “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.”