Alstom Wins Environmental Sustainability Award

Published November 15, 2023.

Alstom received the Environmental Sustainability Award at the 2023 CUTA Awards.

Alstom, a global leader in sustainable mobility, achieved a remarkable milestone in North America. Partnering with associates, they launched the Coradia iLint™, marking the inaugural hydrogen-powered train journey in Canada and the Americas. Québec led this initiative, becoming the first jurisdiction in North America to operate a train with zero direct carbon emissions, powered by clean hydrogen. This showcases Québec’s leadership in transitioning to a low-carbon economy and its commitment to evaluating the potential of hydrogen-powered rail systems in North America. The Coradia iLint employs fuel cell technology to generate its onboard clean electrical energy. Having initially entered commercial service in Germany in 2018, covering over 220,000 kilometres, this project marks its first application outside of Europe, aligning with the need to decarbonize heavy transportation and meet the Paris Agreement targets.

This achievement was publicly unveiled in February 2023 during a press conference. Detailed information packages were disseminated to the media, official visitors, delegations, transit authorities, and government representatives. On June 17, 2023, the project was officially launched with an inaugural train ride, garnering extensive press coverage, including interviews, videos, and on-site reports. Comprehensive information was made available to the public and riders at stations. Furthermore, Alstom’s partners and customers have had the opportunity to personally experience the train. Internally, Alstom has introduced a series of interviews with project managers and a video series, “The North American Saga of the Train,”. This project underscores Alstom’s commitment to global mobility decarbonization and is a source of immense pride for its employees.

The commercial operation of this train will provide valuable insights for Alstom and its partners in shaping the development of a hydrogen rail propulsion ecosystem and expanding into the North American market. Alstom collaborates with the Hydrogen Research Institute of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, led by esteemed professor Bruno Pollet, to analyze the results of this demonstration project. Hydrogen fuel offers a promising pathway to reduce CO2 emissions and align with national and local reduction targets to combat the climate crisis. This technology holds relevance in North America, where just 1% of the rail network is electrified, compared to 50% in Europe. Electrifying over 270,000 kilometres of predominantly private rail lines presents significant economic and operational challenges. This project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of alternative mobility solutions to diesel by fostering the necessary conditions for success through regulatory, economic, and social channels.