Siemens Mobility to supply battery trains to Hessische Landesbahn in Germany

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German regional transport company Hessische Landesbahn has ordered three two-car Mireo Plus B battery trains from Siemens Mobility for its Upper and Lower Westerwald railway pilot project.

Both routes in the Westerwald – a mountain range on the right bank of the river Rhine in the German federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia – require high-performance trains due to demanding gradients and long non-electrified sections.

With its high drive power, the Mireo Plus B is ideally suited to meet this challenge, according to Siemens. Battery-powered trains will achieve substantial CO2 savings and reduce noise levels and exhaust emissions in the region when they replace diesel trains. 

The new battery trains will operate on the Oberwesterwaldbahn (OWB) from Limburg to Altenkirchen – Au – Siegen, and on the Unterwesterwaldbahn (UWB) between Limburg – Montabaur – Siershahn. The OWB route is 115 km-long and includes a 75-km stretch without overhead power lines. Plans call for charging the train’s batteries in Limburg and on the Au – Siegen stretch.

The non-electrified section on the UWB is approximately 35 km-long. This enables trains to operate back and forth without recharging. The trains will serve more than 50 stations on the two routes.

For this project, Siemens Mobility is building three two-car Mireo Plus B battery trains, each with three doors on each side to facilitate quick and easy entries and exits. The trains are equipped with pantographs for operating under catenaries and charging batteries, and with batteries for operating on non-electrified routes.

When operating in battery mode, the range of the Mireo Plus B on topographically challenging routes is around 80 km without recharging. Silicon carbide technology used in the Mireo Plus B contributes to significant energy savings.

“We are convinced that this environmentally friendly, innovative technology is especially suitable for use in difficult, longer uphill stretches in the low mountains, and are really pleased to have this opportunity to deliver proof of this capability in everyday operations,” said Veit Salzmann, CEO of Hessische Landesbahn.

Elmar Zeiler, Head of Regional Trains, Siemens Mobility, added, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate in the Westerwald pilot project that alternative drives offer a good and green alternative for passenger transport even on topographically challenging routes and long non-electrified route sections. The Mireo Plus B from Siemens Mobility is climate-friendly, powerful, and quiet, and delivers significant CO2 savings since it replaces diesel with battery power.”