North America is ushering in a new age of rail travel with the introduction of the first hydrogen-powered passenger train, set against the scenic backdrop of Quebec. This fall, passengers can take a ride aboard the Coradia iLint, from Quebec City to Baie-Saint-Paul. For those in Montreal, it presents the perfect opportunity for a memorable fall day trip, showcasing the autumnal beauty of Quebec from a unique vantage point.
The service operates from Wednesday to Sunday, with the train's 125-kilometre route running along the St. Lawrence River. Passengers get a unique view of the picturesque towns along the shoreline. Departing Montmorency Falls station at 9:30 a.m., travelers reach Baie-Saint-Paul by 11:30 a.m., granting them a few hours to explore before heading back. Those wishing for an extended stay can opt for a one-way ticket.
Montmorency Falls with rainbow and blue sky near Quebec City.Songquan Deng | Dreamstime
Ticketing is flexible with options for either riverside or mountainside seating. Adults can purchase mountainside single-direction tickets starting at $57, while riverside seats are available at $64. For children aged 3 to 17, mountainside tickets are $40, and riverside ones go for $47. For groups or families, the train offers the Group Space, which consists of four seats around a central table, suitable for communal activities. Round trips start at $99.
There's also the option for an Agrotour add-on every Friday in August and every Saturday in September. The package includes a three-hour guided tour in the afternoon that includes transportation, entertainment, visits to three local agritourism sites and 15 local product tastings. As an added touch, participants receive a reusable Agrotours Charlevoix bag.
Train tracks by Baie Saint-Paul.Sebastien Lemyre | Dreamstime
Of course, the standout feature of your Coradia iLint trip is the train's advanced hydrogen technology. Developed by Alstom, the company behind Montreal's new REM light rail system, the hydrogen train operates without emitting harmful pollutants. Instead, it releases only water vapor, a significant step forward for eco-conscious travel. Beyond environmental friendliness, the train’s electric motors ensure a quieter ride, reducing noise disturbances for both passengers and communities near the tracks.
The Coradia iLint drew attention last September when it traveled a remarkable 1,175 kilometers without a refuel. With a top speed of 140 km/h, it matches the performance of standard regional diesel trains but stands out due to its reduced noise and zero emissions.
As efforts intensify globally to address climate change, the Coradia iLint signals a promising shift towards cleaner and more sustainable transit options.
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