Deutsche Bahn joins Siemens in testing local Hydrogen Trains

Written by Chris Kwacz

Deutsche Bahn and Siemens are working together to develop Hydrogen Powered Fuel Cell locomotives. The design will be based on the Mireo Plus Electric model projected by Siemens, with 160km/h top speed, range of 600 kilometers and 15 minutes refuelling time. The partnership involves building a H2 filling station that will begin operation in 2024, the same year as the Hydrogen trains will be trialled!

The main goal in this cooperation is to help replace the diesel engines that are currently operating on German rail networks and use the H2 powertrains instead. Siemens will be behind the construction of the prototype for the local hydrogen trains. The H2 fuel cells will use the renewable energy source to generate electricity. It will be backed up by a battery aswell.

The new H2 powered train prototype build by Siemens, requires only 15 minutes for refuelling, has a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour, and boasts a range of 600 kilometers.

The testing for the local hydrogen trains will take place along the rails from Tuebingen, to Horb and Pforzheim in the German state of Baden Weurttemberg. The companies are looking to appeal to regional network operators that typically re-order 10 to 50 train lots at a time, said Peter. “We see a market potential of 10,000-15,000 trains in Europe that will need to be replaced over the next 10-15 years, with 3,000 alone in Germany.”

Michael Peter, Siemens Mobility CEO, explained that the locomotive opened up the potential for using three sources in a modular system. In this way, it could be powered by the fuel cell, the battery, or even overhead lines, depending on where the train in question was running, according to a Reuters report. The local hydrogen trains are promising in Germany where much of the rails aren’t electrified.

In fact, Deutsche Bahn, the German railway operator, has stated that of its 33,000-kilometer long rail network, about 40 percent is not electrified. As a result, it uses about 1,300 diesel locomotives, which burn fossil fuel and add to greenhouse emissions.

Source: Deutsche Bahn



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