The trains will run on the Heidekrautbahn network (RB27) in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region and are scheduled to be delivered in the fall of 2024, with operations beginning from December 2024 onwards.
According to Siemens, switching from diesel to hydrogen on the Heidekrautbahn will reduce annual CO₂ emissions by around three million kilos and save 1.1 million liters of diesel.
The Mireo Plus H is a second-generation hydrogen train featuring a hydrogen-powered traction system with 1.7 MW of traction power providing up to 1.1 m/s2 acceleration and a top speed of 160 km/h. In addition, the train has the lowest lifecycle costs on the market, according to Siemens, and can be refueled in just 15 minutes.
The Mireo’s energy-saving and environmentally friendly design is based on its self-supporting, welded and integral lightweight aluminum construction. The train’s improved aerodynamics together with its energy-efficient components and intelligent electrical system management also help reduce emissions and the use of resources.
The order placed with Siemens Mobility also includes a ten-year service and spare parts contract (TSSSA) up to 2034. Siemens Mobility will thus ensure the availability of the trains over the entire term of the transport contract. The service contract not only covers the provision of all necessary maintenance, servicing, and repair activities, but their continuous further development and adaptation to the customer-specific use of the trains operating on the Heidekrautbahn.
The use of hydrogen-powered trains on the Heidekrautbahn is part of a scientifically supported joint pilot project funded by the federal government and the states of Berlin and Brandenburg. The project is focused on setting up a regional, sustainable hydrogen infrastructure that also includes a hybrid power plant and a tank system. All train operations on the RB27 line are to be carried out exclusively with green - regenerative and regionally produced – energy.
“Today, traveling by train is by far the most climate-friendly way to travel. We are especially proud that our first order for a fleet of hydrogen-powered trains will also enable emission-free rail transport on non-electrified routes,” said Michael Peter, CEO Siemens Mobility. “Our Mireo Plus H is a next-generation hydrogen train that combines innovation with sustainability. Thanks to its long range, faster acceleration, and state-of-the-art technologies, it will set new standards in zero-emission passenger transport.”
“We are proud to operate the Heidekrautbahn, the first rail network in the Berlin-Brandenburg region that will be using hydrogen fuel cell trains,” said Detlef Bröcker, CEO of NEB. “The highly innovative hydrogen-powered trains are not only environmentally friendly, but also provide modern equipment and features tailored to the needs of our passengers. Moreover, the manufacturer’s direct involvement in maintaining the trains will ensure a high level of security regarding train availability. By operating a technologically and ecologically upgraded railway, we want to actively support the energy and transportation transition and make local public transport for commuter service and tourism more attractive.”
In November 2021, NEB ordered 31 two-car, battery-operated Mireo Plus B trains from Siemens Mobility for the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area. The new trains will be delivered in late 2024 along with an improved and expanded timetable.