Thunder Bay, Canada has become a centre of attraction in hydrogen transport with the potential for the transportation company Bombardier to start building a hydrogen powered trains there. The project was first mentioned in 2007 and has received almost no attention since the Hydrail project has been in and out of planning. Bombardier’s resolve has not diminished in the interim, and this past September was the signing of the strategic cooperation agreement between the Canadian company and the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC). CRRC has two hydrail tram plants in production. The agreement signing was notably done at the same event that premiered the rolling-out of the first full-scale hydrail prototype.

The time between the proposal of the project in 2007 and the move forward by Bombardier in 2016 for hydrogen can perhaps be attributed to the election of Justin Trudeau. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was no known for his attention to climate change and sustainable transport, Trudeau has gained quite a bit of recognition in this area with the ratification of the Paris Agreement. All elements considered, although Canada has not paid much attention to hydrogen-fueled transport in the past, there seem to be indications of hydrogen becoming more prominent within the country’s energy mix. Perhaps, inspiration may be pulled from the German hydrail project planned for 2025.

The building of a hydrail production plant in northern Ontario could become the central source for the rest of North America.

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