Siemens Mobility completes first test runs with hydrogen train in Bavaria

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Siemens Mobility has completed the first test runs with the Mireo Plus H hydrogen-powered train in Bavaria, Germany. The two-car trainset will enter passenger service in mid-2024 on routes between Augsburg and Füssen and Augsburg and Peissenberg on the rail network of Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB).

Pilot operations of the train are planned for 30 months and are supported by the State of Bavaria. Siemens Mobility and Bavaria signed the corresponding development partnership in 2021.

The Mireo Plus H is a state-of-the-art hydrogen-powered train based on Siemens Mobility’s proven Mireo regional train platform. Two roof-mounted fuel cells and a lithium-ion battery ensure completely CO2-free mobility. The H2 energy supply system, combined with the electric drive, provide high 1.7 MW traction power for acceleration of up to 1.1 m/s² and a top speed of 160 km/h.

The train has an operating range between 1,000 and 1,200 kilometers with one tank filling. The Mireo Plus H also features the lowest lifecycle costs compared to other fuel cell trains on the market and can be quickly refueled in just 15 minutes, Siemens noted.

The Mireo is designed to be energy-saving and environmentally friendly with its monocoque, welded lightweight aluminum structure. In addition, its improved aerodynamics, energy-efficient components, and intelligent electrical system management effectively reduce the use of resources as well as emissions. 

Karl Blaim, managing director and CFO of Siemens Mobility, said, “Partnering with the State of Bavaria, we have reached an important milestone for the future of alternative drive systems for trains. Our hydrogen-powered Mireo Plus H train will operate completely emission-free between Augsburg, Füssen and Peissenberg. With this train, we are offering a sustainable solution for rail routes that are not electrified.” 

Bavaria’s transport minister Christian Bernreiter, added, “By conducting 30 months of passenger operations, we will test the hydrogen train under a full range of everyday conditions. The results of these tests will then determine whether we decide to use hydrogen-powered trains on additional routes in Bavaria. Our goal is to end diesel operations in Bavaria’s local and regional rail passenger transport by 2040. In addition to electrifying routes and using battery-powered trains, hydrogen propulsion can be an important factor in achieving this goal.” 

Arnulf Schuchmann, managing director of BRB, concluded, “Today we can experience the Siemens Mobility hydrogen train live on a normal line for the first time, and are preparing intensively for passenger operations next year. As the second largest railway company in Bavaria, we are especially pleased with the confidence that politicians, the Bayerische Eisenbahngesellschaft and Siemens Mobility have shown in entrusting us with the test operations.”