Siemens and DB have tested an innovative hydrogen train and a mobile refueling station that will be used in regular passenger transportation from 2024. This is noted by Railway Supply magazine with reference to Global Railway Review.

hydrogen train
Picture: Siemens

The heads of Siemens AG and Deutsche Bahn, together with a representative of the Federal Ministry of Digital Technology and Transport, will make the first trip on the Mireo Plus H hydrogen train and demonstrate the process of refueling the train with the help of a mobile hydrogen filling station. The event will be held at the Siemens Test and Validation Center in Wegberg-Wildenrath, North Rhine-Westphalia. In the future, hydrogen technology is expected to replace diesel trains in regional transport and make a significant contribution to the phase-out of diesel fuel.

Hydrogen trains are the most climate-friendly technology as they run on green hydrogen without harmful emissions and emit only water vapor. Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn presented the H2goesRail project to the public in November 2020. In addition to the refueling and start-up tests conducted in recent months, DB employees were trained to operate the system.

The new Mireo Plus H train emits nothing but water. It has a range of about 1,000 kilometers, can reach speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour and can be refueled quickly. Over a lifetime of 30 years, one train will save up to 45,000 tons of CO2 emissions compared to traveling by car. Hydrogen belongs to the future of mobility.

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The project is financed by the Federal Ministry of Digital Technologies and Transport in the amount of 13.74 million euros as part of the National Innovation Program in the field of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. The Mireo Plus H, developed for the H2goesRail project, has a range of up to 800 kilometers, the same power as its electric multi-section counterpart, has a traction power of 1.7 MW, which provides an acceleration of up to 1.1 m/s2, and a top speed of 160 km/hour

One of the key factors needed to make hydrogen technology competitive with diesel in everyday operation is a fast refueling process. To do this, DB has developed a new method that for the first time allows a hydrogen train to be refueled as quickly as a diesel train. This is especially important in view of the precise timetable of DB’s regional passenger services. The hydrogen for the trains will be produced in Tübingen by DB Energy with clean electricity sourced directly from overhead power lines. For example, on the route between Tübingen and Pforzheim, switching from diesel to the H2goesRail project train will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 330 tons per year. In total and depending on the route, the Mireo Plus H can reduce emissions by 520 tons per year (with a total mileage of 200,000 kilometers).

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