The Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area will get its first battery-electric, emission-free regional trains in late 2024, along with an improved and expanded timetable. To provide this service, Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn
(NEB), which won the contract for the network June, has ordered 31 two-carriage battery-operated Mireo Plus B trains from Siemens Mobility
The federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg are responsible for planning and financing regional rail passenger service in the Berlin-Brandenburg Public Transport Authority (VBB) region.
Guido Beermann, Minister for Transport for the State of Brandenburg, said: “The use of environment-friendly propulsion systems in public transport marks a milestone in the technical transition taking place in the rail sector.
“As the first battery-electric multiple-unit train in the VBB network, the Mireo Plus B provides real added value in terms of climate compatibility and economy compared to the trains operating with combustion engines currently in use. This trend toward electric trains, together with an even more attractive service offering, will continue and give further impetus to the transport transition.”
Susanne Henckel, VBB’s managing director, said “We have set new standards with the East Brandenburg network and its focus on alternative drives. The new trains along with the increased service frequency will significantly improve the offering for passengers.
“There is no alternative: environment-friendly rail must be further supported and expanded. What pleases me the most is that electric trains with battery storage systems will operate on many lines in the future.”
Currently, diesel-powered trains operate on the network’s routes, but by switching to the Mireo Plus B battery-powered trains, annual consumption of diesel fuel will be reduced by around 4.4 million litres in the East Brandenburg network.
The new trains will also eliminate local CO2
emissions and significantly reduce ‘fine dust’ emissions. The battery-hybrid train draws its energy from the overhead contact line; on non-electrified sections of the network’s routes, lithium-ion batteries — previously charged on the electrified sections — provide the train’s power supply. Recovered braking energy is also used for powering the train. The two-carriage train has a battery-electric range of more than 90km.