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Charlevoix prepares to welcome America’s first hydrogen passenger train

Charlevoix prepares to welcome America’s first hydrogen passenger train

The train will run from Wednesday to Saturday between June 17 and September 30. About 60 employees will be assigned to train operations such as customer service, maintenance, operations and housekeeping, for example.

As Train de Charlevoix workers are already accustomed to working with three European trains of similar proportions to the Coradia iLint, the Charlevoix region is the perfect playground to test this new technology.

In addition, the vehicle will be able to travel on a private rail system, without having to share track with other rail carriers.

We have the eyes of the whole world Train de Charlevoix general manager Nancy Bailey rejoices.

Nancy Bailey would like this article to open the door for future collaborations of this kind.

“What we want is to be part of an ecosystem of the future,” she sums up. She is pleased with the links that have developed between Alstom, the Quebec government, and businesses in the region.

The new hydrogen-powered train will run on the Charlevoix railway this summer.

Image source: Alstom

The train deployed in Quebec is a demonstrator, and has already served in France and Germany in particular.

The provincial government was awarded $3 million in February to test the first-ever green hydrogen train in North America.

The first teacher

For Alstom, this test is a “pilot project” as well as a “roadshow,” sums up Eric Rondeau, director of the French multinational Innovation Center for America. The company wants to prove that this technology can be deployed on existing networks.

This demo of this European train presages the development of our future equivalent trains, but in America »

Quote from Eric Rondo, Director, Alstom Center for Innovation

Alstom would like this project to pave the way for the development of rail systems similar to those in many European cities.

But does Quebec have enough population density to support these transportation projects? It is a matter of comparing the population density that we have in Scandinavia. It is similar to us [au Québec]. They are social choices. Eric Rondo answers.

green hydrogen

Hydrogen refueling will be provided by Harnois Energies.

hydrogen train

Hydrogen trains have been tested in many cities and countries, such as Germany. (file photo)


Nearly 95% of the hydrogen consumed worldwide is produced from natural gas or coal, according to the province of Quebec. But the Charlevoix train will run on renewable energy.

“hydrogen [produite] At the Quebec plant, it’s made from water by electrolysis, so it’s green,” sums up Catherine Josselin, Senior Project Manager at Harnois Énergie.

The hydrogen will be transported to Charlevoix for use by the train. The car releases water vapor and condensed water into the air.

In collaboration with Flavie Sauvageau and Pierre-Alexandre Bolduc