Alstom, a trailblazer in sustainable mobility, showcased the Coradia iLint, the world’s premier hydrogen-powered train, in North America, marking a pivotal moment in eco-friendly rail transport. Over a period from June to September 2023, this innovative train served over 10,000 passengers across Quebec, saving around 8,400 liters of diesel and averting 22 tons of CO2 emissions. Michael Keroullé, President of Alstom in the Americas, highlighted the potential of hydrogen trains as a “safe, and viable alternative to diesel on non-electrified lines” in North America.
The Coradia iLint is more than just a train; it’s a symbol of the symbiotic relationship between technology and the environment, emitting only water and providing a quieter journey for passengers and nearby residents. Since its 2018 launch, it has proven its worth, traveling over 220,000 kilometers across eight European countries, demonstrating a tangible step towards decarbonizing the rail sector, particularly vital considering only 1% of the North American rail network is electrified.
The demonstration underscored the importance of a solid hydrogen ecosystem, which includes dependable hydrogen fuel production and distribution systems. As North America embarks on developing this hydrogen ecosystem, it will require ongoing investment and dedication to scale effectively. Furthermore, as this ecosystem evolves, it is expected to generate new jobs and skillsets, especially in the operation and maintenance of a hydrogen fuel network and hydrogen fuel cells.
The demonstration also spotlighted the need to modify regulatory standards, established before hydrogen was considered for this application. Alstom, together with the Hydrogen Research Institute of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, will analyze the demonstration project’s results and is expected to release a comprehensive report in early 2024, which will offer valuable insights and guide the subsequent steps in developing hydrogen propulsion technology and promoting green transportation in North America.
Alstom, along with its partners, has not only established a foundation for a comprehensive, safe, and efficient hydrogen ecosystem for heavy transportation in North America but has also set a benchmark for global rail operators. The demonstration project, sanctioned and supported by the Government of Quebec, lights the way towards sustainable rail transport and encourages the broader implementation of hydrogen-propulsion technology worldwide.
Alstom’s initiative is not just a technological breakthrough; it’s a pledge to a future where transportation and environmental conservation are intertwined. The Coradia iLint stands as a symbol of what is achievable when innovation is steered by a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. As we traverse the tracks of technological advancements, it is crucial that sustainability remains at the forefront, ensuring that our journey towards the future is both innovative and environmentally responsible.