The study will look into the viability of using BEMUs on regional services in the Sächsische Schweiz, Erzgebirge and Westlausitz areas. The current contract for the operation of these routes expires in 2024 and VVO is seeking a sustainable alternative to diesel traction in the new contract.

The trains would draw charge from the 15kV ac electrification when operating under the wires to provide traction power for operation on non-electrified lines, which are currently served by DMUs.

VVO says it has selected Bombardier and TU Berlin to carry out the study as the two organisations have already accumulated extensive experience of battery trains through a federally-funded project to develop and test a BEMU based on Bombardier’s Talent 3 EMU.

The study is due to be completed by February 2019.

A technical description of the Talent 3 BEMU will appear in the September issue of IRJ.