Baden-Württemberg investigates hydrogen use for railway lines and trains


Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport has launched a study for 16 non-electrified routes in Baden-Württemberg to answer which strategy is the best for which railway line in the future.

It is possible that electrifying lines via an overhead contact line is not always the best option and is prohibitively expensive. Alternative forms of drive, such as hydrogen hybrid trains (H2MU) or catenary / battery hybrid trains (BEMU), can be put on the track faster and more economically on specific railway lines.

The investigation will focus on 16 non-electrified routes. In the electrification idea, these are the routes assigned to category 3 “Long-term demand / vehicle-side solutions.” The study was developed by a bidding consortium comprised of TransportTechnologie-Consult Karlsruhe GmbH and komobile w7 GmbH. (Vienna).

In addition to electric trains with catenary electrification, the team will investigate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of hydrogen hybrid (H2MU), catenary / battery hybrid trains (BEMU), and diesel hybrid trains. Depending on the option, additional infrastructure on the routes, such as hydrogen filling stations or catenary islands, may be necessary. Vehicle-related characteristics such as acceleration and braking behavior, as well as the energy requirements of the vehicles – including auxiliary consumers such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and compressed air – play a significant part in future vehicle usage planning. Finally, the CO 2-Emissions of the various choices are compared. Finally, the outcomes of the individual routes will be transformed into strategic suggestions for the entire country.

The financing will be decided for the later implementation of the strategy.

Anela Dokso

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