The battery trains use the short section of the overhead line, which is only a few hundred meters to a few kilometers, to charge their batteries for journeys in a non-electrified section. In the future, more than ten million kilometers of train traffic in Schleswig-Holstein can be driven electrically, on which diesel trains were previously used. This saves ten million liters of diesel fuel per year.
"With innovative infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology, we are continuing to drive forward the expansion of alternative drive systems," explains DB Infrastructure Director Berthold Huber. "Our goal is clear: Deutsche Bahn will become climate-neutral by 2040. Creative solutions such as the catenary islands for battery-operated trains will also help us to achieve this."
Initially, more than 30 additional overhead line masts will be needed at the Kiel and Büchen stations. DB will then build the first overhead line islands as well as charging substations for feeding in the traction current on behalf of the state and the local transport company by the end of 2023 on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein in Heide, Husum, and Tönning.
"Thanks to the battery trains, the diesel multiple units in Schleswig-Holstein will soon be largely obsolete. This innovative solution in the area of vehicles also requires new solutions in the infrastructure," says Schleswig-Holstein's Minister of Economic Affairs Claus Ruhe Madsen. "The construction of the overhead line islands for the battery trains is an important step towards climate-neutral local transport for the state."
After Kiel and Büchen, DB is also relying on these solutions at other locations. For example, the extension of the existing overhead line in Bad Oldesloe as well as between Kiel and Kiel-Hassee will begin in March 2023, and from April 2023 on the Flensburg line towards Kiel.
And in two other federal states, overhead line islands are also to be used in local transport: In the southern Rhineland-Palatinate, preliminary planning has already been completed; in the Rhine-Ruhr region, preliminary planning has begun.