Battery powered train to be tested in Germany

Louise Smyth

A group maiden journey with the Talent 3 type electric hybrid train was the highlight of a recent press event at Bombardier’s Hennigsdorf location. Guests included Enak Ferlemann, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and Federal Commissioner for Rail Transport, as well as Brandenburg’s Transport Minister Kathrin Schneider.

“We want to continue with the electrification of rail transport. A train that can recharge its batteries from the overhead line while in motion therefore constitutes an enormous step forward as well as pure innovation”, declared State Secretary Ferlemann. “On non- or only partly electrified routes the message is move away from diesel on rails and towards cleaner and more environmentally-friendly mobility.”

The new battery train is the first of its kind to have been developed for Germany over the past 60 years. It runs emission-free and sets the standard for smart mobility with peak values of 90% in terms of efficiency and recyclability. In addition it is around 50% quieter than modern diesel trains. According to a comparative study by the Technical University of Dresden, the battery multiple-unit train also has the edge in terms of overall cost calculation over the full service time of 30 years.

“With our new battery train we are putting real innovation on the tracks”, said Michael Fohrer, German Head of Bombardier Transportation. “This train is Bombardier’s technological answer to today’s challenges such as air pollution, climate change and scarcity of resources. Around 40% of the German railway network is not electrified. The battery train is both economically and ecologically and attractive option in addressing this.”

The range is growing proportionally with the continual increased performance from new battery developments. The current prototype is equipped with four Bombardier Mitrac traction batteries and can cover journeys of around 40 kilometres. In 2019 the next vehicle generation of the battery train will be able to cover non-electrified distances of up to 100 kilometres. Deutsche Bahn will begin a twelve-month test operation with passengers using the current prototype in the Alb-Lake Constance region.

The development of the battery train will be funded under one of the Electric Mobility programmes with four million euros supplied by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The project partners include DB Regio subsidiary DB ZugBus Regionalverkehr Alb-Bodensee (regional transport for the Alb-Lake Constance region), the regional transport company of Baden-Württemberg as well as NOW and TU Berlin.

Recent Issues