Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility to develop new hydrogen train

Posted: 25 November 2020 | | No comments yet

Both companies will test a climate-friendly complete system consisting of the hydrogen train and its specially developed infrastructure.


Credit: Siemens Mobility

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Siemens Mobility are testing the use of hydrogen for rail for the first time.

The joint H2goesRail project aims to test a completely new system consisting of a newly developed train and a newly designed filling station.

The new trains and infrastructure are intended to replace diesel powered trains operating on regional routes in Germany, significantly reducing CO2 emissions. A one year trial operation of the train is planned between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim, planned to take place in 2024. The hydrogen will be produced on site in Tübingen using traction electricity generated from renewable sources.

DB intends to re-fit its maintenance site in the city of Ulm for servicing the hydrogen powered train.

Siemens Mobility will build a prototype based on the Mireo Plus regional train, but equipped with a newly developed hydrogen drive. The designated Mireo Plus H will be as powerful as its electric counterpart, and have an operating range of up to 600km.

The new hydrogen drive will save around 330 tons of CO2 a year. DB currently operates around 1,300 diesel-powered trains in regional service, and roughly 40 per cent of DB’s 33,000km rail network is not electrified. As such, the use of hydrogen-powered trains, in addition to further electrifying the system, presents a great opportunity for DB to become climate-neutral.

DB Board Member for Digitalisation and Technology, Professor Sabina Jeschke, said: “This project proves that Deutsche Bahn is not just a mobility company, but a technology group as well. We need to bring our fossil fuel consumption down to zero. Only then can DB be climate-neutral by 2050.”

Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility, said: “Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn will jointly develop the next generation of a hydrogen traction system – a complete system consisting of a hydrogen-powered train and infrastructure, including a new and innovative fueling station that can refuel the train in just 15 minutes. The train will have 1.7MW of traction power providing up to 1.1m/s² acceleration and a top speed of 160km/h. This innovative technology will make hydrogen-powered train operations faster, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.”

The state government of Baden-Württemberg has already given the project its support, while funding is expected to come from the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

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