Premiere: Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility present new hydrogen train and hydrogen storage trailer

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Premiere: Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility present new hydrogen train and hydrogen storage trailer. From left to right: Michael Peter, CEO Siemens Mobility, Dr Michael Theurer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport and Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport, and Dr Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, Director of Digitalisation and Technology at Deutsche Bahn. (DB AG/Volker Emersleben)

Joint project H2goesRail develops a completely new overall hydrogen system for rail – First rollout of the Mireo Plus H hydrogen train from Siemens Mobility and the hydrogen storage trailer for mobile hydrogen refuelling from Deutsche Bahn – Important step for the diesel phase-out and climate-friendly transport transition

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Krefeld, 05 May 2022

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Siemens Mobility are continuing to drive forward the climate-friendly transport transition by rail. For the first time, both partners presented elements of the innovative overall hydrogen system at the Siemens production site in Krefeld: the newly developed Mireo Plus H, the latest generation of a hydrogen train, and a newly designed, mobile hydrogen storage trailer. The vehicle and the matching infrastructure are intended to replace diesel multiple units in regional transport and reduce CO₂ emissions on rail to zero.

The H2goesRail project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) as part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme with a total of 13.74 million euros. The funding directive is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by the project management organisation Jülich.

„In the coalition agreement, the Federal Government agreed to electrify 75 per cent of the rail network by 2030,“ said Michael Theurer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Digital Affairs and Transport and Federal Government Commissioner for Rail Transport. „Here, alternative drives can help to reduce emissions from diesel traffic on the railways. With H2goesRail, a project is being realised that will not only test the use of hydrogen for rail, but will substantially advance it. In this way, we can also travel almost climate-neutrally on routes that could otherwise only be electrified at great expense.“

„Only with strong rail and alternative types of drive will we succeed in making a significant contribution against climate change. The Mireo Plus H enables climate-friendly and emission-free passenger transport,“ says Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility. „With the Mireo Plus H, we have developed the next generation of hydrogen trains, which offers a particularly long range and higher acceleration. Each train delivered can save up to 45,000 tonnes of CO₂ over its 30-year lifetime compared to equivalent car journeys.“

„Hydrogen trains are an important building block for Deutsche Bahn on the way to climate neutrality,“ says Dr Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, Director of Digitalisation & Technology at Deutsche Bahn. „With our development of the mobile hydrogen filling station and the associated maintenance infrastructure, we are showing that we at DB are not only capable of mobility, but also technology. And that is exactly what is needed for the climate-friendly transport of tomorrow. Together with Siemens and the newly developed hydrogen train, we are thus creating an overall system that takes us another step towards phasing out diesel and enables the greening of the fleet.“

The Mireo Plus H for the H2goesRail project has a range of up to 800 kilometres as a two-section, is as powerful as electric multiple units and features a high drive power of 1.7 MW for up to 1.1 m/s² acceleration and a top speed of up to 160 km/h. A three-car variant has a range of 1,000 kilometres.

A key element in making hydrogen technology competitive with the diesel fuel used so far in everyday operations is a fast refuelling process. DB has therefore developed a new procedure that for the first time makes the refuelling of a hydrogen train just as fast as the refuelling of a diesel multiple unit. This is an important aspect in view of the closely timed train sequences in DB’s regional transport. The hydrogen is produced in Tübingen by DB Energie with green electricity that comes directly from the overhead line. To be able to maintain the train, the DB plant in Ulm will be equipped accordingly.

Hydrogen trains are a particularly climate-friendly propulsion technology because they run on green hydrogen with zero emissions – only water vapour is emitted, no CO₂. Taking the H2goesRail project as an example, the route between Tübingen and Pforzheim results in CO₂ savings of around 330 tonnes per year by saying goodbye to diesel. In general, depending on the route profile, the Mireo Plus H can save 520 tonnes per year (calculated on 200,000 km mileage).

The Mireo Plus H will start test runs in Baden-Württemberg in 2023. From 2024, it will be in regular passenger service between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim for the H2goesRail project, replacing a diesel railcar running there.

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn will also present the H2goesRail project and the Mireo Plus H at InnoTrans 2022, the world’s largest trade fair for railway technology, in Berlin.

The facts about the project in detail:

Officially, the collaborative funding project is called H2goesRail. The Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) is funding the project through the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP 2) with over 13 million euros. NIP 2 is coordinated by the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) GmbH and implemented by the project management organisation Jülich.

Hydrogen drive

Hydrogen drives with fuel cell technology produce electrical energy from the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen and water as a „waste product“. The use of such trains is a way for DB to become climate-neutral and to replace diesel vehicles with alternative types of propulsion. Green electricity is used to generate the environmentally friendly green hydrogen. DB Energie ensures the hydrogen supply.

Mireo Plus H

For the one-year trial operation, Siemens is developing a two-car regional train with a latest-generation hydrogen drive system. It consists of a fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery. The Mireo Plus H will be as powerful as electric multiple units and have a range of up to 800 kilometres – depending on operational conditions such as the season or the route. A three-car variant has a range of 1000 kilometres. Low life cycle costs due to low maintenance and servicing costs and a top speed of 160 km/h are the vehicle’s distinguishing features.

Filling station

DB is developing, testing and optimising the infrastructure required for hydrogen supply. The hydrogen is produced by electrolysis at the DB plant in Tübingen, with the necessary green electricity coming directly from the overhead line. In the so-called electrolyser, water is split into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of green electricity. Compressed in a compressor, the hydrogen is stored in a mobile storage tank. Before refuelling, the green fuel is treated and cooled. The mobile set-up enables further test projects on routes that have not been developed so far.

Rapid refuelling

The train is refuelled with hydrogen in a novel process: for the first time, this takes no longer than the refuelling of a diesel traction train. This is an important aspect in view of the closely timed train sequences in DB’s regional transport. This makes hydrogen technology competitive with the diesel fuel used so far in everyday operations.

Maintenance

The DB Regio workshop in Ulm is being converted for the maintenance of hydrogen multiple units. Maintenance of the hydrogen train can then be ensured there by extensively trained DB Regio staff with support from Siemens Mobility employees.

Passenger operation

After a test phase, the train will be in passenger service between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim for one year from 2024. Around 120,000 kilometres of scheduled rail operation are planned. The route is particularly suitable because of the exemplary frequency of the timetable for regional transport and the varied topography. The Mireo Plus H from Siemens will replace a diesel railcar usually used on this route and save about 330 tonnes of CO₂. The drivers will be specially trained for the vehicle and will then drive it in trial operation

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