Siemens to deliver battery-electric trains to Hesse
Siemens Mobility has received another order for its battery trains. The Hessian public transport operator Hessische Landesbahn is procuring three two-car Mireo Plus B. The new battery trains will operate on the local lines ‘Oberwesterwaldbahn’ (OWB) and the ‘Unterwesterwaldbahn’ (UWB).
The OWB covers the routes from Limburg to Altenkirchen – Au – Siegen. The route of the OWB is 115 kilometres, of which about 75 kilometres are without contact wire – so here the trains rely on their battery. It is planned to recharge the trains in Limburg and on the Au – Siegen section, according to the Siemens announcement.
The UWB battery trains will run between Limburg – Montabaur – Siershahn. On the UWB, the non-electrified section is about 35 kilometres. This makes it possible to run trains there and back without recharging.
In total, the trains will call at over 50 stations. Since the sections without overhead lines are sometimes quite long and the gradients in the Westerwald are “demanding”, the use of the OWB and UWB requires “particularly high-performance trains”, Siemens explains. The manufacturer promises that the Mireo Plus B is “ideally suited for this challenge with its high drive power”.
The two-car battery trains have pantographs to run under the overhead line and charge the batteries on these sections. On the stretches without overhead lines, the electricity from the batteries is used. “On topographically demanding lines”, the battery range of the Mireo Plus B is said to be around 80 kilometres.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate in the Westerwald pilot project that alternative drives offer a really good and green alternative for passenger transport even on topographically challenging routes and long non-electrified route sections,” says Elmar Zeiler, Head of Regional Trains at Siemens Mobility. Veit Salzmann, Managing Director of Hessische Landesbahn, adds: “We are convinced that this environmentally friendly, innovative technology is especially suitable for use in difficult, longer uphill stretches in the low mountains, and are really pleased to have this opportunity to deliver proof of this capability in everyday operations.”
The Mireo Plus B is the battery-electric version of Siemens Mobility’s regional train. The manufacturer has already received several orders for this, for example from Baden-Württemberg, East Brandenburg and Denmark. With the Mireo Plus H, Siemens also offers a fuel cell version that will make its maiden voyage in September 2022.