Deutsche Bahn has started using biofuels in regional transport

Marketa Horpeniakova, Published on 07/09/2022
Deutsche Bahn has started using biofuels in regional transport
@DB AG / Adam Özdemir

Using regional trains on biodiesel should help reduce CO2 emissions on the mentioned routes by 90 percent.


Deutsche Bahn (DB) and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg have placed 57 vehicles running on climate-friendly biofuel on the Aulendorfer Kreuz and Donau-Ostalb railway lines. For this purpose, the petrol station in Aulendorf was completely converted from diesel to biofuel. By the end of next year, the station should have a capacity of 1.3 million litres. The Aulendorf railway service station can also be used by other railway companies.

This important step should lead to the phasing out of diesel and the achievement of climate neutrality in Germany.  “By December 2023, we will save around 3,700 tons of CO2 in the two networks. Before the end of this year, we want to use biofuel in regional transport at other locations throughout Germany. In this way, we are making the already climate-friendly public transport system even greener and more attractive for our passengers,” said Evelyn Palla, head of regional transport at DB.

DB uses HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) biofuel, which consists of biological residues and waste materials and is free of palm oil. To use biofuels, the working diesel trains and diesel locomotives that are currently still in use on the routes do not need to be specially modified and therefore do not have to be discarded prematurely but can be used in a much more climate-friendly way until the end of their service life. 

“Trains should no longer run on climate-damaging diesel. We are therefore working nationwide on a strategy to get away from diesel fuel. Where electrification is not yet possible, we rely on alternative fuels. Aulendorf is a small but important railway hub for the region. In Upper Swabia, vehicles with diesel engines run with significantly lower CO2 emissions. The state of Baden-Württemberg is supporting these measures in 2022 and 2023 with a total of €400,000,” added Winfried Hermann, minister of transport of Baden-Württemberg.

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