Mireo Plus B battery train for Hessische Landesbahn

German operator HLB orders Siemens battery trains to replace diesel units

Mireo Plus B battery train for Hessische Landesbahn Siemens Mobility

Regional German operator Hessische Landesbahn has ordered three battery trains from Siemens Mobility for a railway pilot project in Upper and Lower Westerwald. The routes have ‘demanding gradients’ and up to 75 kilometers of non-electrified sections, and the two-car Mireo Plus B should be suited to meet this challenge, without the need for new infrastructure.

The new trains are planned to enter service with the timetable change in December 2025. They 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. This can still be managed by the Mireo Plus B, which in battery mode has a range of 80 kilometres on topographically challenging routes, according to the manufacturer. The train’s batteries will be charged in Limburg and while running on the Au – Siegen stretch via the pantograph.

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.

Hessische Landesbahn train on an electrified section, but not all parts of the routes are (image: Helmut Vogler via HLB)

Veit Salzmann, CEO Hessische Landesbahn is excited for the pilot project, and thanks the authority responsible for local rail transport in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate SPNV-Nord and those in the region for enabling them to contribute to the 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.”

Last year, support for the procurement of the vehicles was obtained from the German Federal Ministry of Transport funding program for alternative drives. Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy and Mobility in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate Katrin Eder comments: “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. 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.”

Interested in the switch to greener operations and diesel alternatives in rail? Join the upcoming Rail Infra Forum in Rotterdam and online on March 14-15. Click here for more information and registration. 

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor RailTech.com

1 comment op “German operator HLB orders Siemens battery trains to replace diesel units”

bönström bönström|10.02.23|20:03

By innovative new design, steeper gradients, will provide for lower costs at infrastructure investments, etc., etc.
Yes, indeed the “Old Railway” is Device for future – when allowed benefitting of innovations available…

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