SIEMENS Mobility says it has completed the first test runs with its two-car Mireo Plus H hydrogen multiple unit in Bavaria.

The supplier says the completion of tests is an important milestone as it prepares for the launch of passenger services with the train on Transdev-run Bayern Regional Rail (BRB) routes between Augsburg and Füssen, and Augsburg and Peissenberg, in mid-2024.

Pilot operation of the train will take place for 30 months and is supported by the state of Bavaria.

“We will test the hydrogen train under a full range of everyday conditions,” says Bavaria’s transport minister, Mr Christian Bernreiter. “The results of these tests will then determine whether we decide to use hydrogen-powered trains on additional routes in Bavaria.”

The routes from Augsburg were selected due to their curves and gradients that place special demand on train performance. The contract to conduct the trials was signed in October 2022 following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Bavarian state government, BRB and Siemens in 2021.

“Our goal is to end diesel operations in Bavaria’s local and regional rail passenger transport by 2040,” Bernreiter continues. “In addition to electrifying routes and using battery-powered trains, hydrogen propulsion can be an important factor in achieving this goal.” 

The Mireo Plus H is based on Siemens’ Mireo train platform. It is equipped with two roof-mounted fuel cells and a lithium-ion battery. The hydrogen energy supply system, combined with electric drive, provides 1.7MW of traction power offering acceleration of up to 1.1m/s2 and a top speed of 160km/h.

The train has a range of 1000-1200km on a single tank of hydrogen fuel and refuelling takes 15 minutes.

“With this train we are offering a sustainable solution for rail routes that are not electrified,” says Siemens Mobility managing director and CFO, Mr Karl Blaim.

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