REPRESENTATIVES of Bavarian Regional Rail (BRB) and Siemens Mobility signed a leasing contract for a prototype hydrogen train in Bavaria on March 15 in the presence of Bavaria’s economic affairs minister, Mr Hubert Aiwanger, and transport minister, Mr Christian Bernreiter. The lease agreement follows the signing of a letter of intent in July 2021.

The two-car hydrogen-powered train will be presented to the public in the spring, before starting testing on the on the Augsburg - Füssen route, among others, beginning in mid-2023. The pilot service is expected to run for 30 months, with the train expected to enter service in January 2024.

The hydrogen-powered train is based on Siemens’ Mireo Plus platform, with roof-mounted hydrogen fuel cells. The system includes the latest generation of underfloor batteries supplied by Saft.

“Green hydrogen is becoming a key pillar for comprehensive climate protection in the areas of transportation, industry and energy,” Aiwanger says. “I am convinced that with green hydrogen propulsions we can significantly reduce pollutant emissions in heavy-duty and rail transport and contribute to decarbonisation. The one-sided dependence on energy supplies can also be reduced and spread across many regions of the world.”

“We’re working closely with our partners to get this lighthouse project under way because we’re convinced hydrogen propulsion can also contribute to attractive and even climate-neutral passenger rail transport,” Bernreiter says. “Our goal is to achieve this by 2040 at the latest. Bavaria’s support of the pilot project with funding of several million euros is more than well-invested.”

“Our Mireo Plus H is the latest-generation hydrogen-powered train,” says Siemens Mobility CEO - Rolling Stock, Mr Albrecht Neumann. “It features high driving power, excellent acceleration capability and a large operating range. This will make rail transport faster, more efficient, eco-friendlier, and more comfortable. The hydrogen-powered drive is an emission-free, advanced form of propulsion for trains that decarbonises rail transport and makes a substantial contribution toward reaching our climate goals.”