Four years ago we carried a feature about the Chemin de fer de Charlevoix in Quebec. The railway has an interesting history, part of it having been electrified in 1904 but when passenger services ended in 1959 it was 'de-electrified'. With a couple of false starts passenger services recommenced in 2011, running only from June to October.
Railways in North America are largely diesel operated with very little electrification. Canada and the United States are now hurrying to find ways of running the railways without emitting CO2.
With this in mind, a return service on part of the line is to be operated between Wednesdays and Saturdays by a Coradia iLint hydrogen train. This is a first in America and the green hydrogen needed will be produced at a plant in Quebec.
Running the train in passenger service will give Alstom, the train manufacturer, an insight into how to proceed in developing the use of hydrogen in the North American market.
This demonstration service is a joint venture between the Quebec Government, the railway, the train operator, the hydrogen production technology company HTEC and Harnois Énergies.