Siemens, Deutsche Bahn launch local hydrogen trains trial

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In this news, we discuss the Siemens, Deutsche Bahn launch local hydrogen trains trial.

MUNICH (Reuters) – Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn have started developing hydrogen fuel cell trains and a gas station that will be tested in 2024 to replace diesel engines on German local rail networks.

The prototype, which will be built by Siemens, is based on the Mireo Plus electric wagon which will be fitted with fuel cells to turn hydrogen and oxygen into electricity on board, and with a battery, the two companies said.

Siemens chief mobility officer Michael Peter told Reuters the train combines the ability to be powered from three sources in a modular system – either from the battery, the fuel cell or even existing overhead lines, depending on where it would operate.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn has not electrified 40% of its 33,000 kilometer (km) network, on which it operates 1,300 diesel locomotives emitting fossil fuels.

Rail transport must be decarbonized in the long term within the framework of the European Union and national climate objectives.

“Our hydrogen trains are able to replace diesel powered trains in the long run,” said Peter.

The new prototype will be powered in 15 minutes, will have a range of 600 km and a top speed of 160 km / hour.

It will be tested between Tuebingen, Horb and Pforzheim in the Land of Baden Württemberg.

The main target market are regional network operators who typically rearrange lots of 10 to 50 trains, said Peter.

“We see a market potential of 10,000 to 15,000 trains in Europe that will need to be replaced over the next 10 to 15 years, of which just 3,000 in Germany,” he said.

Each train will cost between five and 10 million euros (5.9 to 11.9 million dollars), creating a market potential of 50 to 150 billion euros in total.

The Berlin government expects green hydrogen to become competitive in the long term with fossil fuels and to play a key role in decarbonising industry, heating and transportation.

Reporting by Joern Poltz in Munich and Vera Eckert in Frankfurt, editing by David Evans

Original © Thomson Reuters Corporation

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