In case you’re in Quebec this summer season, you may experience the Alstom prepare from Quebec Metropolis to Baie-Saint-Paul by the top of September. And hydrogen trains are already absolutely operational in Germany. However what does the way forward for rail journey appear like in North America?
Whereas different components of the world have extra readily adopted passenger rail — notably high-speed rail — it has been much less well-liked in North America. However that does not imply hydrogen trains aren’t coming. Amtrak California, for instance, has hydrogen-powered passenger trains presently on order for 2027. North America additionally has giant expanses of open land the place it may be tough and costly to construct infrastructure equivalent to overhead electrical cables for railcars. Hydrogen trains are a wonderful resolution for simply this situation.
Freight rail corporations are additionally desirous to get in on locomotive expertise that may cut back dangerous emissions whereas additionally decreasing bills. BNSF Railway Firm, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, is working with companions on hydrogen gasoline cell expertise for this function, although it is probably nonetheless years away from manufacturing.
Hydrogen trains aren’t the future of passenger rail — they’re the current. They’re already right here. It simply is determined by the place “right here” is in relation to you. However with the promise of the expertise being so nice, you may end up aboard a hydrogen-powered prepare prior to you assume.