Siemens partners with Deutsche Bahn for hydrogen trains trial

Siemens partners with Deutsche Bahn for hydrogen trains trial

Siemens Mobility, with railway operator Deutsche Bahn, has embarked upon the development of hydrogen-run fuel cell trains as well as filling stations with a view to replacing conventional diesel engines across local rail networks in Germany. The German railway operator has not electrified 40% of its 33,000 km long network, on which it runs 1,300 diesel locomotives.The project is all set to go for trial in 2024.

With a top speed of 160 km/hour and a range of around 600 km, the new prototype will take only 15 minutes to get fuelled. Based on the electric railcar Mireo Plus, the prototype that is to be manufactured by Siemens is expected to come attached with fuel cells, which with the help of a battery, can convert oxygen and hydrogen into electricity for use onboard. Both companies confirmed this development.

Siemens Mobility told sources the train amalgamated the scope of being fed by three different sources in a modular system. Based on where it is projected to run, the train can be fed by existing overhead lines, the fuel cell, or even the battery.

Concerning the national climate targets that have been mandated by the European Union, Siemens Mobility stated that rail transport is obliged to decarbonise itself gradually over the long-term. In the longer run, Siemens’s hydrogen-powered trains will be able to replace the conventional diesel-run trains, he added.

Operators of regional markets that generally reorder batches of 10 to 50 trains constitute the primary target market, Siemens said. Along with being anticipated by the Berlin government to provide competition to the fossil fuels in the longer run, green hydrogen is also expected to play a pivotal role across the heating, decarbonising, and transport industries. The hydrogen-fuelled trains will be tested between Horb, Tuebingen, and Pforzheim in the state of Baden Wuerttemberg.

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