Premiere ride: Siemens and Deutsche Bahn test hydrogen train and mobile fueling station for first time

Siemens y Deutsche Bahn realizan el primer recorrido en pruebas de su tren de hidrógeno y testan su sistema de reabastecimiento móvil

Innovative complete hydrogen system will be used in regular passenger service as of 2024 and replace diesel trainset

Premiere ride in the new hydrogen train: Dr. Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG, Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn, and Hartmut Höppner, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), are taking their first ride in the Mireo Plus H hydrogen train today and will then demonstrate the train’s refueling procedure using the mobile hydrogen fueling station.

The event will be held at the Siemens Test and Validation Center in Wegberg-Wildenrath, North Rhine-Westphalia. It is planned to have hydrogen technology replace diesel-powered trainsets in regional transport in the future and make a significant contribution to phasing out diesel fuel. Hydrogen trains are a particularly climate-friendly drive technology since they operate emission-free with green hydrogen and emit only water vapor. Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn presented the H2goesRail project to the public in November 2020.  

“ 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 CO 2 emissions compared to travel by car,” said Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG. 

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 CO 2 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).  

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. 

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn will also be showcasing the H2goesRail project and the Mireo Plus H at InnoTrans 2022, the world’s largest trade fair for railway technology, held in Berlin. The Mireo Plus H can be visited at stand T06/40, and the mobile hydrogen fueling station at stand O/630 in the outdoor exhibition area of InnoTrans.