Bavaria's first hydrogen train is taking form. Siemens Mobility and Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) executives signed the lease contract for the revolutionary prototype on March 15 in the presence of Bavaria's Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger and Transport Minister Christian Bernreiter. The deal was signed following a statement of intent between all parties involved in July 2021.
In spring 2022, the public will be introduced to the latest two-car hydrogen multiple unit generations. The train is slated to begin testing in mid-2023 on the Augsburg - Füssen line. The operating trials on the Bavarian Regiobahn (BRB) network are expected to last 30 months. The vehicle will begin formal passenger service in January 2024.
Hubert Aiwanger, Bavaria's economics minister, states: "Green hydrogen will be a critical component of complete climate protection in the transportation, industrial, and energy sectors. As Minister for Economics and Energy, I am glad that our Bavarian hydrogen plan can now address more concrete challenges. This train is critical to our plan of "transport transitioning" to hydrogen, so we are backing it. I am certain that by using green hydrogen drivers in heavy goods and rail transport, we can dramatically cut pollutant emissions and contribute to decarbonization. Additionally, the world's one-sided reliance on energy supply may be lessened and dispersed among several locations."
Christian Bernreiter, Bavaria's Minister of Transport, explains: "I am glad that we will soon be able to utilize and test this new technology in Bavaria. Together with our partners, we are advancing this lighthouse project because we are sure that hydrogen can also contribute to appealing and even climate-neutral local rail passenger travel. This goal should be accomplished by 2040 at the latest. Therefore, the pilot project's financial assistance from the state is more than justified."
Albrecht Neumann, Siemens Mobility's CEO of Rolling Stock: "Our Mireo Plus H is a next-generation hydrogen train. Its driving force acceleration capabilities distinguish its strong driving force, acceleration capabilities, and range. This is how we accelerate the operation of trains powered by hydrogen engines, making them more efficient, ecologically responsible, and pleasant. Hydrogen propulsion is an emission-free and innovative kind of train propulsion that enables the decarbonization of rail transport and contributes significantly to meeting our climate goals."
Managing Director of the Bavarian Regiobahn, Arnulf Schuchmann, stated: "The Bavarian Regiobahn views itself as a dependable mobility partner for Bavarian citizens and wishes to accompany them on their daily trips in a climate-friendly way. We, too, plan and are pleased to be a part of charting the road for tomorrow's mobility now. Despite the project's considerable effort, we eagerly anticipate the test operation in our network and the knowledge gathered regarding the application of hydrogen technology in the railway industry. We will prepare everything in the best possible way, in collaboration with the Transdev group, to which we belong, and our staff on-site, to ensure a smooth test start next year."
The hydrogen train is being developed using the Siemens Mobility Mireo Plus platform. Hydrogen traction is mostly comprised of roof-mounted fuel cells. The system is finished by the business Saft's latest generation of underfloor batteries. The Mireo is available with a normal electric motor or a battery train, along with a hydrogen-powered variant.
Siemens Mobility's sustainability plan includes the development of alternative rail drives. When it comes to sustainable mobility, the firm is a pioneer.