Siemens Mobility to provide first battery-electric trains for East Brandenburg rail network

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Private railway operator Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB) has 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.

The federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg are responsible for planning and financing regional rail passenger service in the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB) region. NEB won the contract for the East Brandenburg rail network in early June.

In the Europe-wide tender for the new trains for the East Brandenburg rail network, the states of Berlin and Brandenburg clearly focused on alternative drives and reducing environmental pollution. At present, diesel-powered trains operate on the network’s routes.

By switching to the Mireo Plus B battery-powered trains, annual consumption of diesel fuel will be reduced by around 4.4 million liters in the East Brandenburg network. The new trains will also eliminate local CO2 emissions and, depending on the electricity mix, also cut supra-regional emissions by roughly 11,500 tons per year. At the same time, they will significantly reduce fine dust emissions.

The Mireo Plus B battery-hybrid train draws its energy from the overhead contact line. On non-electrified sections of the network’s routes, lithium-ion batteries – previously charged on the electrified sections – provide the train’s power supply. Recovered braking energy is also used for powering the train. The two-car train has a battery-electric range of more than 90km.

Guido Beermann, minister for transport for the State of Brandenburg said, “The use of environmentally friendly propulsion systems in public transport marks a milestone in the technical transition taking place in the rail sector. As the first battery-electric, multiple-unit train in the VBB network, the Mireo Plus B provides real added value in terms of climate compatibility and economy compared to the trains operating with combustion engines currently in use. This trend toward electric trains, together with an even more attractive service offering, will continue and give further impetus to the transport transition.”

Dr Elmar Zeiler, head of mass transit and regional trains at Siemens Mobility, added, “Sustainability is a very high priority for Siemens Mobility, which is why we are so pleased with the second order for our battery-powered Mireo Plus B. Our Mireo is popular with customers as well as passengers. We’ve already sold over 240 trains in this successful series. This state-of-the-art train delivers passenger comfort and convenience, reliability, and availability along with climate protection. By using batteries, the trains can operate on non-electrified railway lines, replacing diesel-powered trains and making a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.”

Siemens Mobility aimed to set new standards for environmental integrity with its Mireo Plus B. Right from the design phase, important criteria were set for materials, structural design, and weight reduction, among other factors, to ensure an environmentally friendly product. In addition, the number of the train’s components, materials, and wear parts as well as its product packaging were minimized, and permanent bonds between parts were eliminated to ensure maximum recyclability. As a result, large main sections and finishing components such as shell, bogies or glass windowpanes can be almost completely separated from the unusable parts and recycled.

The order will also include a service and spare parts supply contract over 12 years until 2036. Siemens Mobility will ensure the availability of the trains over the entire term of the contract. Part of this service contract is not only to organize the performance of all necessary maintenance activities, but also continuously further develop maintenance activities, adopted to the customer-specific use of the vehicles.