Siemens and DB to Test Hydrogen Train and Mobile Fueling Station
Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn presented the H2goesRail project to the public in November 2020. In addition to the refueling and commissioning tests conducted over recent months, DB employees have been trained to operate the system when it enters service.
“We are taking a decisive step with our partners today toward the future of climate-neutral transport. The new Mireo Plus H train emits nothing but water. It has a range of around 1,000 kilometers, can reach speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, and can be refueled quickly. Over its service life of 30 years, a single train will save up to 45,000 tons of CO2 emissions compared to travel by car,” said Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens.
“Hydrogen belongs to the future of mobility. That’s why I am especially pleased that we have reached the next important milestone in the H2goesRail project today,” said Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn. “Our goal is clear: We plan for DB to be climate-neutral by 2040. And one key lever here is bidding farewell to diesel fuel. With our development of a mobile hydrogen fueling station and its associated maintenance infrastructure, we at DB are once again showcasing outstanding and innovative drive technologies and demonstrating how climate-neutral mobility of tomorrow will work.”
The project is being funded with €13.74 million by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The Mireo Plus H developed for the H2goesRail project has a range of up to 800 kilometers, is as powerful as its electric multiple-unit counterpart, has 1.7 MW of traction power providing up to 1.1 m/s2 acceleration and a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour.
One key factor needed to make hydrogen technology competitive with diesel fuel in daily operation is a fast refueling process. To provide this, DB has developed a new method that, for the first time, enables a hydrogen train to be refueled as fast as a diesel-powered train. This is especially important considering the closely timed scheduling of DB’s regional passenger service. Hydrogen for the trains will be produced in Tübingen by DB Energy with green electricity taken directly from the overhead power line.
On the route between Tübingen and Pforzheim, for example, switching from diesel to the H2goesRail project train will save around 330 tons of CO2 emissions a year. In general, and depending on the route, the Mireo Plus H can save 520 tons of emissions per year (calculated on a total mileage of 200,000 kilometers). The Mireo Plus H will begin test runs in Baden-Württemberg in 2023. As of 2024, it will be underway in regular passenger service for the H2goesRail project, operating between Tübingen, Horb, and Pforzheim and replacing a diesel railcar currently in use on that route.