Siemens, along with German national rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB), is trialing the Mireo Plus H hydrogen train for the first time. The companies also demonstrated the train’s refueling procedure using the mobile hydrogen fueling station.
Siemens CEO Roland Busch, DB CEO Richard Lutz, and State Secretary Hartmut Höppner take the first test ride in the Mireo Plus H and test the refueling process. The event was 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 first unveiled 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.
The new Mireo Plus H train developed for the H2goesRail project has a range of up to 800 km (497 miles), can reach speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 mph), and can be refueled quickly. A three-car variant has a range of up to 1,000 km (621 miles). It is as powerful as its electric multiple-unit counterpart and has 1.7 MW of traction power, providing up to 1.1 m/s2 acceleration.
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.
A fast refueling process is a crucial need to make hydrogen technology competitive with diesel fuel in daily operations. 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. DB Energy will produce hydrogen for the trains in Tübingen using green electricity taken directly from the overhead power line. According to DB and Siemens, switching from diesel to the H2goesRail project train will save around 330 tons of CO2 emissions a year.
The Mireo Plus H will begin test runs in Baden-Württemberg in 2023. After completing a test phase, the train will enter passenger service in 2024 and operate between Tübingen, Horb, and Pforzheim. Approximately 120,000 km of scheduled rail service are planned.