DB supplies hydrogen to competitors

As a potential future energy source, hydrogen is now being explored in a number of contexts. Before the year is out, the first hydrogen train in Bavaria is supposed to be on the tracks. On the project, Platzhirsch DB will collaborate with a private provider.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) and its private rival Bayerische Regiobahn will collaborate on the first hydrogen train in Bavaria (BRB). Regiobahn intends to use a Siemens hydrogen train to run two lines out of Augsburg starting the next year. The DB Energie unit of Deutsche Bahn will provide the fuel for the new train. According to a DB spokesman, the corporation will construct the hydrogen infrastructure in Augsburg. A fueling station and a mobile storage facility are scheduled to open toward the end of 2023.

In 2024, the BRB plans to substitute a hydrogen train for a diesel train on the routes from Augsburg to Weilheim in Upper Bavaria and Füssen in Allgäu. The Transdev Group company and the state government have agreed to a 2.5-year testing period for Bavaria’s first hydrogen train. Test runs will be conducted this year, and regular service with the new train is anticipated to begin in January of 2019.

According to DB, due to the tight scheduling of connections, quick refueling is required for scheduled passenger service. According to DB Energie CEO Torsten Schein, “DB Energie was the first company to ever construct a mobile hydrogen filling station with which hydrogen trains may be refueled as quickly as diesel multiple units.” As a result, the hydrogen train should be refueled and ready to travel within 15 minutes.

If the energy needed for production comes from sources such as solar energy or wind power, hydrogen is regarded as a climate-friendly fuel. since only water vapor is released by the trains themselves. In Augsburg, DB intends to guarantee the availability of such “green hydrogen.”

Across the nation, research is being done to see if hydrogen trains can take the place of diesel trains. For instance, the new trains have been running regularly on non-electrified branch lines in southern Hesse for nearly a month. With a projected 27 trains, the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund there aspires to create the largest hydrogen rail fleet in the world.

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