BERLIN: German industrial giant Siemens unveiled on Thursday its first hydrogen-powered train developed with rail operator Deutsche Bahn, with a plan to put it into service regionally in 2024.
The locomotive which runs on electricity produced by a hydrogen fuel cell “should replace diesel powered trains in regional traffic and reduce carbon emissions on rails to zero,” Deutsche Bahn said in a statement.
Hydrogen-powered trains is part of the German government’s plan to “electrify 75 percent of the rail network by 2030,” said Michael Theurer, state secretary at the transport ministry.
Fuel cells generate clean electricity from reactions using hydrogen and oxygen as the only emission is water.
While most hydrogen currently comes from the gas industry, the Siemens train model called Mireo Plus H will use “green hydrogen” from sustainable energy.
“Each train delivered will save up to 45,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide for a lifetime of 30 years,” said Michael Peter, who heads Siemens Mobility.
If all goes to plan, Mireo Plus H will begin its trial in southwestern Germany in 2023, before running commercially in 2024, shuttling commuters between Tuebingen, Horb and Pforzheim.
With the hydrogen model, Siemens is trying to catch up with French competitor Alstom, which already has such trains on the market.
Two German states have placed orders with Alstom for 41 trains and trials have already been carried out in several countries including Austria, Poland and France.
Published in Dawn,May 6th, 2022