The milestone in the H2goesRail project: Siemens and Deutsche Bahn test the premiere ride of the hydrogen train

The milestone in the H2goesRail project: Siemens and Deutsche Bahn test the premiere ride of the hydrogen train

Hydrogen technology is expected to replace diesel-powered trainsets in regional transport in the future and make a significant contribution to the phasing out of diesel fuel.

Last week, the premiere ride in the new Mireo Plus H hydrogen train took place at the Siemens Test and Validation Center in Wegberg-Wildenrath, North Rhine-Westphalia. The testing also included a demonstration of how to refuel the train using a mobile hydrogen refueling station.

The innovative complete hydrogen system should be used in regular passenger transport from 2024 and replace diesel trainset. Hydrogen trains are based on a drive technology that is very climate-friendly since they run emission-free with green hydrogen and emit only water vapor. 

“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,” commented Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG. 

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn presented the H2goesRail project to the public in November 2020. 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 is as powerful as its electric multiple-unit counterpart. To make hydrogen technology competitive with diesel fuel in daily operation, 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. Hydrogen for the trains will be produced in Tübingen by DB Energy with green electricity taken directly from the overhead power line. 

After completing a test phase, the hydrogen train is scheduled to enter service in 2024 on the route between Tübingen, Horb, and Pforzheim. Approximately 120 000 kilometers of regular rail service are planned. The switch from diesel to H2goesRail is expected to save around 330 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year on this route.

“Our goal is clear: We plan for Deutsche Bahn 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 Deutsche Bahn are once again showcasing outstanding and innovative drive technologies and demonstrating how climate-neutral mobility of tomorrow will work,” said Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn.

Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn will also present the H2goesRail project and Mireo Plus H at the world's largest railway technology trade fair InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin.

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