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Siemens Mobility receives first order for battery-powered trains

Siemens Mobility is delivering a total of 20 Mireo Plus B Battery trains to Baden-Württemberg including a maintenance contract for 29.5 years I © Siemens Mobility

Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW) has ordered 20 Mireo Plus B trains from Siemens Mobility. With this order, Siemens did not only win its first order for Battery trains, but also beat the hydrogen train which was also participating in the tender. The Ortenau tender is Germany’s second tender for emission-free regional trains after Schleswig-Holstein which ordered 55 Stadler battery trains from Stadler last year.

The two-car electric trainsets for Ortenau with 120 seats can operate on rail routes with or without overhead power lines thanks to their battery hybrid drive, and are scheduled to operate in Network 8 of the Ortenau regional system. The contract also includes maintenance of the trains by Siemens Mobility for a period of just under 30 years. State Minister for Transport Winfried Hermann said: “This marks the first time battery-powered trains will be used in the state. With this innovative technology, the electrification of rail routes without continuous overhead power lines will also be possible.”

Delivery of the trains is scheduled to be completed by December 2023. The trains will be built at the Siemens Mobility factory in Krefeld, Germany. The KfW IPEX Bank is financing the trains for Nahverkehrsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (NVBW). The financing of €77 million has a term of 28 years.

The Mireo Plus B is derived from Siemens’ latest Mireo regional train platform. The company is currently delivering Mireo EMU’s for several customers in Germany, including Baden-Württemberg. Siemens has already quite some experience with regional battery trains. Its prototype, the Desiro Mainline “Cityjet Eco” started passenger operation in Austria together wit ÖBB in September 2019. UTM reported here:https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/siemens-obb-cityjet-eco-achieves-approval-for-passenger-operation/

“With this order, the state of Baden-Württemberg is investing in the future of mobility. Our battery-powered train Mireo Plus B makes climate-friendly, locally emission-free passenger transport possible, thus offering a sustainable alternative to the use of diesel-powered trains on non-electrified rail routes. We will guarantee the availability of the fleet with our maintenance of the trains over their entire lifecycle,” said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility.

At the terminus in Freudenstadt the future battery trains will be able to re-charge the batteries via the existing catenary – passengers can change to the tram-train service to Karlsruhe already today I © UTM

Currently the Ortenau network is operated by SWEG with four-axle Regioshuttle diesel trains which will be replaced in 2023 by the new battery trains. However it is yet to be seen who will be the operator of the network.

“In the interest of sustainability, we’ve deliberately opted for a “lifecycle model’,” said Winfried Hermann, Minister for Transport in Baden-Württemberg. “We’re breaking new ground in converting to climate-friendly propulsion systems in local transport by introducing this new technology and want to commit the company to this technology through contractual arrangements. Siemens is also responsible for energy consumption and energy costs over the entire contract period of 29.5 years. In this respect, we are entering new territory regarding public transport tenders in the state of Baden-Württemberg.”

Project overview – the Mireo Plus B has a battery range of up to 80 km I © Siemens Mobility

The Mireo Plus B has a range of around 80 kilometers in battery operation under real conditions. The batteries can be charged via the overhead line while operating along electrified sections and by recuperating the train’s braking energy. The battery system is mounted underfloor and is installed in two battery containers. Lithium-ion batteries with a long service life are used in the system.

The Network 8 Ortenau comprises the routes:

  • Offenburg –Freudenstadt/Hornberg
  • Offenburg – Bad Griesbach
  • Offenburg – Achern
  • Achern – Ottenhöfen and
  • Biberach (Baden) – Oberharmersbach-Riersbach 

and serves an annual volume of around two million train-kilometers.

Overview of the Ortenau network – the line to Kehl/ Strasbourg is excluded from the tender I © Ortenau S-Bahn

Andreas Ufer, Managing Director of KfW IPEX Bank, said: “The financing not only contributes to an immediate reduction in CO2 emissions, but also promotes innovative and climate-friendly technologies in rail transport.” By financing these trains, KfW IPEX Bank is underscoring its commitment to using such technologies in Germany and Europe.

Financing with the Network Ortenau model

Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW) is responsible for the procurement and financing of trains needed for the tendered network (Network Ortenau model), on behalf of the State of Baden-Württemberg, which is responsible for regional rail transport. The Network Ortenau model calls for the manufacturer to not only produce and deliver the trains, but also ensure that they are permanently available for service. SFBW is thus the owner of the trains and makes them available to the rail operator for the duration of the transportation contract. SFBW is financing the train purchase price through loans that are secured by a guarantee from the State of Baden-Württemberg.

Source: Siemens Mobility/ own research

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