Berlin rail line will receive hydrogen trains from Siemens

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Siemens Mobility to deliver seven two-car Mireo Plus H trains under order from Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB)

Mireo Plus H trains will serve the Heidekrautbahn (RB27) network in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area.

The second-generation hydrogen trains will include a fuel cell drive system and a lithium-ion battery to provide completely CO₂-free mobility.

The trains are the first hydrogen trains for the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area.

Mireo Plus H hydrogen train for Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB) // Credit: Siemens Mobility

Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility, said: “Today, traveling by train is by far the most climate-friendly mode of transport. We are particularly proud that our first order for a fleet of hydrogen trains will also enable emission-free rail travel on non-electrified routes,”

“Our Mireo Plus H is a next-generation hydrogen train that combines innovation and sustainability. With its long range, faster accelerations and advanced technologies, it will set new standards in zero-emission passenger transport. »

Detlef Bröcker, CEO Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB) said: “We are proud to operate the Heidekrautbahn, the first rail network in the Berlin-Brandenburg region that will use hydrogen fuel cell trains.

“With Siemens Mobility, Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn has an experienced and reliable partner at its side. The highly innovative hydrogen trains are not only environmentally friendly, but also offer modern equipment and features tailored to the needs of our passengers. In addition, the manufacturer’s direct involvement in train maintenance will ensure a high level of safety in terms of train availability. By operating a technologically and ecologically modernized railway, we want to actively support the energy and transport transition and make local public transport more attractive for commuting and tourism.

The Mireo Plus H is an extremely advanced second-generation hydrogen train that uses a hydrogen traction system with 1.7 MW of traction power giving an acceleration of 1.1 m/s2 with a top speed of 160 km/h . The train also features the lowest lifecycle costs available with refueling taking just 15 minutes. The train’s energy-efficient and environmentally friendly design is based on its lightweight, self-supporting, welded, integral aluminum construction. The Mireo also sees improved aerodynamics along with energy-efficient components and intelligent electrical system management that helps reduce emissions and resource use.

Siemens Mobility Mireo Plus H trains
Siemens Mobility Mireo Plus H trains // Credit: Siemens Mobility

The interior design of the two-car trains puts comfort first with plenty of space, free Wi-Fi, real-time dynamic displays for passenger information, a designated family area, two multi-purpose areas with plenty of space for strollers, wheelchairs and up to twelve bicycles. Motorized cars have three doors on both sides, making it easy to board or exit passengers in wheelchairs or with strollers, even on low platforms. New signage is also included in the cars, which allows for fast, simple and barrier-free passenger exchanges.

The order with Siemens Mobility comes with a ten-year maintenance and spare parts agreement (TSSSA) until 2034 and will ensure the availability of the trains for the duration of the contract. The service contract included not only the provision of all necessary maintenance, but also servicing and repair as well as the continuous development and adaptation of the customer-specific use of trains running on the Heidekrautbahn.

The introduction of hydrogen trains on the Heidekrautbahn is part of a joint pilot project scientifically supported and funded by the federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg. The project aims to set up a regional and sustainable hydrogen infrastructure alongside a hybrid power plant and reservoir system. The RB27 line will see all operations carried out exclusively using green, regenerative and locally produced energy and will be carried out by switching from diesel to hydrogen, reducing Heidekrautbahn’s annual CO2 emissions by around three million kilos, saving 1.1 million liters of diesel.

Siemens Mobility will deliver the hydrogen fleet during autumn 2024 and the trains are expected to be in service on the Heidekrautbahn (RB27) network in early December 2024.

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