Bavaria green lights test for innovative hydrogen train

The Bavarian State Ministers for Economic Affairs and for Transport have signed an MoU agreement with Siemens Mobility and Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) to support the testing of a hydrogen-powered train.

The two-car train, developed by Siemens Mobility, is to be tested on the Augsburg Füssen route beginning in mid-2023. The pilot operation in the rail network of Bayerische Regiobahn (BRB) is initially planned for 30 months, with the train officially entering passenger service in January 2024.

Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs Hubert Aiwanger said: “The train is another important component in Bavaria’s hydrogen strategy. My ministry is promoting research, development and applications in the field of hydrogen technology.

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“We’re organizing this rail project together with our partners because we’re convinced that hydrogen technology will make a significant contribution to decarbonizing transport. We’ll prove in Bavaria that business and climate protection can be reconciled with green hydrogen.”

The hydrogen-powered train is being developed on the basis of the Mireo Plus H platform from Siemens Mobility. It is designed to operate on non-electrified rail lines and has a range of up to 800 kilometers.

Hydrogen tank system of the Mireo Plus H. Credit: Siemens

The main components of the hydrogen traction drive are two fuel cells mounted on the roof, and the latest generation of batteries from the Saft company installed beneath the floor.

At the signing of the agreement, Kerstin Schreyer, Bavarian State Minister for Housing, Building and Transport explained that Bavaria has set ambitious climate targets and innovative technologies and green hydrogen play an important role in reaching these goals. “…Hydrogen has the potential to be used in a wide range of flexible applications, so that the rail transport sector can also be completely converted to renewable energies in the future. I am pleased that the Free State can also test this innovative technology in regular operation in this project.”

Karl Blaim, Managing Director of Siemens Mobility: “The technology partnership between Siemens Mobility and the State of Bavaria enables the further development of the Mireo Plus H for Bavaria and supports climate-friendly passenger transport in the state.”