ALSTOM has unveiled at Chemnitz main station in Germany the Coradia Continental battery-electric multiple-unit that it is suppling to Mid Saxony Transport Authority (VMS), which from 2024 will operate on the 80km Chemnitz - Leipzig line.

VMS ordered 11 BEMUs from Alstom for €100m in 2020, exercising an option in a contract signed in 2014 for the supply of 29 Coradia Continental EMUs. Alstom will also maintain the new BEMUs up to 2032 and there are further options for the supply of up to 12 more trains.

The Coradia Continental BEMU has a range of 120km and a maximum speed of 160km/h when powered by its lithium-ion batteries. It can also draw traction current from the overhead catenary on electrified routes.

The three-car trains are 56m long and can each seat 150 passengers. Alstom says that its high-performance lithium-ion battery solution guarantees catenary-free operation without sacrificing performance or passenger comfort.

Production of the new BEMU fleet for VMS is taking place at Alstom’s Salzgitter and Mannheim sites in Germany. The battery traction system has been supplied from Tarbes in France, Alstom’s world centre of excellence for green traction systems.

“We will be able to operate electrically on one of the most important rail routes in the transport authority area without it already being electrified,” says VMS managing director, Mr Mathias Korda.

“Being able to travel in clean, environmentally-friendly and comfortable way between Chemnitz and Leipzig is the result of the interplay between regional ownership as a transport authority and innovative technology from Alstom.”

“Alstom’s ambition is to be the global leader in sustainable mobility, reducing emissions and pollution in catenary-free operation,” says Mr Müslüm Yakisan, president of Alstom’s Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) region.

“The presentation of the first battery-powered train developed by Alstom is an important step in this direction.”

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