German operator Vlexx gets rid of last diesel trains by battery conversion
Regional German operator Vlexx has received federal funding of almost 7 million euros last week to convert 6 electric trains to battery-powered trains. These will replace the diesel trains running on non-electrified parts of the network in Saarland.
Vlexx, which was previously named Dieselnetz Südwest (DNSW), will fully say goodbye to diesel. All routes in the Elektro Netz Saar (ENS) in the state Saarland are electrified, only the route from Saarbrücken to Lebach-Jabach still uses diesel trains. Vlexx is a subsidiary of Regentalbahn AG, which runs trains in Bavaria and Saxony.
The diesel multiple units on this last non-electrified route will be replaced by converted electric multiple units (EMU) from the existing fleet. Six of the fleet’s 21 electric multiple units of the Talent 3 series will be converted to battery-powered vehicles, so-called BEMUs. The start of operations with the battery trains is expected when the timetable changes in December 2025.
The funding of 6.7 million euros comes from the “Alternative drives in rail transport” federal fund and will cover 40 percent of the total costs of the conversion of almost 17 million euros.
Vlexx can now place the order for the conversion with the vehicle manufacturer Alstom (formerly Bombardier). Two DC/DC converters and four battery packs with a total battery capacity of 420 kWh will be installed on the vehicle roofs. In addition, appropriate control software will be implemented.
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