Hessische Landesbahn – a regional transport company owned by the German state of Hesse – has opted for three two-car Mireo Plus B battery trains from Siemens Mobility for their Upper and Lower Westerwald railway pilot project. Both routes in the Westerwald, with demanding gradients and long non-electrified sections, require high-performance trains. 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.
“As Minister for Climate Protection and Mobility, I am especially thrilled about the progress being made in the planned pilot project with battery-powered trains in the Westerwald. The decision favoring 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,” emphasized Katrin Eder, Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy and Mobility, State of Rhineland-Palatinate.
“We would like to thank those responsible in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and here in the region for enabling us to contribute to this demanding and exciting pilot project. We are convinced that this environmentally friendly, innovative technology is especially suitable for use in difficult, longer uphill stretches in the low mountains, and are really pleased to have this opportunity to deliver proof of this capability in everyday operations”, stated Veit Salzmann, CEO Hessische Landesbahn.
“I’m really proud that our joint commitment to alternative drives for regional rail transport in northern Rhineland-Palatinate is bearing fruit. The order from Hessische Landesbahn as our contractual partner to Siemens Mobility for the delivery of the battery trains has laid the basis for the innovative trains with climate-friendly drive to prove their suitability in everyday passenger service in the Westerwald region. We’re quite excited about the experience and lessons that the pilot project will provide. This will allow us to take further decision on the use of alternative drives”, concluded Achim Hallerbach, District Administrator, District of Neuwied and Head of the SPNV-North.
Elmar Zeiler, Head of Regional Trains, Siemens Mobility: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate in the Westerwald pilot project that alternative drives offer a really good and green alternative for passenger transport even on topographically challenging routes and long non-electrified route sections. 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.”
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 kilometers long and includes a 75-kilometer 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 kilometers long. This enables trains to operate back and forth without recharging. The trains will serve more than 50 stations on the two routes.
For this project, Siemens Mobility is building three two-car Mireo Plus B battery trains, each 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, and with batteries for operating on non-electrified routes. When operating in battery mode, the range of the Mireo Plus B on topographically challenging routes is around 80 kilometers without recharging. Silicon carbide technology used in the Mireo Plus B contributes to significant energy savings.
The spacious train offers 126 seats and standing room for 156 passengers.