North America’s first hydrogen-powered train is now in operation in Canada as part of a demonstration project to showcase the technology’s potential for clean and efficient transportation.
For reference, most modern train engines are powered by electricity or diesel.
The hydrogen-powered train, called Coradia iLint, is made by French company Alstom, and runs on a route between Quebec City and Base-Saint-Paul, carrying up to 120 passengers at speeds of up to 140 km per hour (roughly 87 miles per hour).
The only emission from the train is water vapour, as it uses a fuel cell to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. “I think the most important thing that’s going to come out of it is people’s awareness and comfort with the technology,” said Robert Stasko, executive director of Ontario’s Hydrogen Business Council, in a statement given to CBC News.
Coradia iLint runs through the Train de Charlevoix route from Wednesday through Sunday. The train will continue its operation until September 30th.
Alstom says it has received orders for 41 trainsets from clients in Germany, Italy and France. The company hopes the Canadian demonstration will inspire similar interest from North American operators.
According to Serge Harnois, CEO of Harnois Énergies, which supplies the fuel for the train, it uses up about 50 kilograms of hydrogen a day, replacing about 500 litres of diesel that would be burned during the same journey. A diesel-powered truck carries the hydrogen to the train station for refuelling, which results in some carbon footprint, but according to Harnois, hydrogen would likely be produced on-site “one day.”
The train also had to travel across the ocean from Europe to Canada for the short-term project, which raises questions about its environmental impact. However, the train will not return to Europe after the demonstration but will continue to tour other North American cities to promote its adoption.
Learn more about the project here.
Image credit: Alstom
Source: CBC News