Siemens Mobility provides battery trains for Westerwald railway project 

Siemens Mobility provides battery trains for Westerwald railway project 

Hessische Landesbahn has opted for three two-car Mireo Plus B battery trains from Siemens Mobility for its Upper and Lower Westerwald railway pilot project. Both routes in the Westerwald require high-performance trains, due to demanding gradients and long non-electrified sections. With its high drive power, the Mireo Plus B is ideally suited to meet this challenge. Battery-powered trains will achieve substantial CO2 savings and reduce noise levels and exhaust emissions in the region when they replace diesel trains. 

“I am thrilled about the progress being made in the planned pilot project with battery-powered trains in the Westerwald,” said Katrin Eder, Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy and Mobility, State of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. “The decision favouring the high-performance battery trains from Siemens Mobility marks a milestone on the long path toward providing climate-neutral public transport in Rhineland-Palatinate. Expanding the use of alternative drives is indispensable for achieving the mobility transition and protecting the climate. We are preparing the road for the public transport of the future.”

The new battery trains will operate on the Oberwesterwaldbahn (OWB) from Limburg to Altenkirchen – Au – Siegen, and on the Unterwesterwaldbahn (UWB) between Limburg – Montabaur – Siershahn. The OWB route is 115 km long and includes a 75 km stretch without overhead power lines. Plans call for charging the train’s batteries in Limburg and on the Au – Siegen stretch. The non-electrified section on the UWB is approximately 35 km long – this enables trains to operate without recharging. The trains will serve more than 50 stations on the two routes and also offers 126 seats and standing room for 156 passengers.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate that trains offer a really good and green alternative for passenger transport – even on topographically challenging routes and long non-electrified route sections,” added Elmar Zeiler, Head of Regional Trains, Siemens Mobility. “The Mireo Plus B from Siemens Mobility is climate-friendly, powerful and quiet and delivers significant CO2 savings since it replaces diesel with battery power.”

For this project, Siemens Mobility is building three two-car Mireo Plus B battery trains, with three doors on each side to facilitate quick and easy entries and exits. The trains are equipped with pantographs for operating under catenaries and charging batteries – which are also equipped for operating on non-electrified routes. When operating in battery mode, the range of the Mireo Plus B on topographically challenging routes is about 80 km without recharging. Silicon carbide technology used in the Mireo Plus B contributes to significant energy savings.

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