H2goesRail: Hydrogen at Deutschen Bahn

By July 26, 2021 3   min read  (498 words)

July 26, 2021 |

Siemens Deutsche Bahn Launch Local Hydrogen Trains Trial
  • Deutsche Bahn is currently developing and implementing solutions that utilize hydrogen. One such endeavor is the H2goesRail project.

In partnership with Siemens Mobility, we are breaking new ground and driving forward decarbonization of the transport sector for the good of the environment.

Together we are developing an innovative hydrogen system for rail transport, which will comprise a refueling station, hydrogen train, and maintenance infrastructure.

We aim to replace diesel multiple units in regional service and thus further reduce carbon emissions in rail transport. To achieve this, with H2goesRail we are developing an innovative mobile refueling station whose smart control unit will allow fast refueling of hydrogen trains.

DB Energie GmbH will ensure the supply of hydrogen for the project, from production by means of renewable-powered electrolysis all the way through to storage and provision.

Green hydrogen will be produced directly on site via electrolysis, which uses power from renewable sources to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen obtained in this way is then compressed and stored in a mobile storage tank before being processed and cooled in an adjacent tank trailer ready for vehicles to refuel.

Lower energy consumption and shorter refueling times will be achieved through communication between the train and the refueling station and a pressure regulated refueling control system. The innovative DB Energie tank station will refuel a hydrogen train in the same time as it would take to refuel a diesel train.

Simulation of the pilot run

In early 2024, the trial operation of a hydrogen train will commence on the Pforzheim–Horb–Tübingen route. An initial simulation of the route has already taken place.

Alongside the hydrogen refueling station newly designed by DB Energie GmbH, Siemens Mobility is developing the hydrogen train Mireo Plus H in close cooperation with Deutsche Bahn. Its drive system comprises a fuel cell and traction battery, making it just as powerful as electric multiple units.

We as Deutsche Bahn accompany the development of the train, for example, by providing support during the design process. We are also assessing the train’s entire design on the basis of vehicle dynamics simulations, and accompany all major tests required for commissioning and approval.

Maintenance at the DB Regio depot in Ulm 

To ensure smooth operations and to facilitate regular maintenance of the train, the DB Regio depot in Ulm is being adapted to accommodate hydrogen trains. Specially trained employees at DB Regio and Siemens Mobility will be responsible for maintaining the hydrogen train at the DB Regio depots in Ulm and Tübingen.

Together with our partners, we as Deutsche Bahn are continuously developing and testing new environmentally friendly solutions for tomorrow’s transportation. We are looking into alternative drive systems based on an open technology approach. Hydrogen is one such example. H2goesRail is therefore playing a major role at Deutsche Bahn achieving climate-neutral status and a fully green DB fleet.


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