DB Regio Warnow II Stadler Flirt BEMU impression

GERMANY: Having been named the winner of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Warnow II passenger train operating contract, DB Regio Nordost has ordered Stadler Flirt Akku battery-electric multiple-units to replace diesel multiple-units on two of the routes.

The Land announced the award of the Warnow II contract to the incumbent on February 18, following a European tender. The package covers the operation of Rostock S-Bahn services S1 Rostock – Warnemünde, S2 Rostock – Schwaan – Güstrow and S3 Rostock – Laage – Güstrow from December 2024, and regional services RB11 Wismar – Bad Doberan - Rostock – Tessin and RB12 Bad Doberan – Rostock – Graal-Müritz from December 2026.

The contract runs until December 2039. The services will total 3·4 million train-km/year, with the Land paying around €30m/year.

S-Bahn routes

The S-Bahn routes are electrified, and the current fleet of Bombardier Transportation Talent 2 EMUs will be modernised to provide 279 seats, 42 bicycle spaces, and an infotainment portal accessible via free wi-fi.

There will be an increase in service frequencies, with S1 running every 10 min, or every 7½ min in the morning peak, and S2 and S3 running hourly on weekdays and every 2 h at weekends.

‘With an increased range of services, it will be easier for passengers to leave their cars at home’, said Land Minister for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Tourism & Labour Reinhard Meyer.

Battery trains

Services RB11 and RB12 will be operated using 14 newly ordered Stadler Flirt Akku battery-electric trainsets, enabling locally emissions-free operation without the need to install overhead electrification.

The two-car units will have 99 seats and two multi-purpose areas for wheelchairs, pushchairs and 12 bicycles. They will have a wheelchair-accessible toilet, air-conditioning, wi-fi, power sockets, CCTV and a passenger information system.

The Flirt Akku design has a range of about 100 km in normal service, although 224 km has been achieved under test conditions. Stadler offers Akku units with two to four cars and flexible interior options, and estimates that 80% of Germany’s non-electrified routes could be served by regional trains in battery mode.

The company has now sold more than 2 000 Flirts in 20 countries, with electric, diesel and electro-diesel versions in service, and a hydrogen variant recently delivered in the USA as well as the battery units on order in Germany.

‘With this new order, we have further consolidated our market leadership in the field of alternative drives’, said Jure Mikolčić, CEO of Stadler Germany. ‘Since 2019, Stadler has sold 113 vehicles with alternative drive technologies in Germany. It makes us very proud that our Flirt Akku not only makes an ecological and innovative contribution to climate-friendly traffic policies, but also significantly boosts efficiency. If we consider the average life of a rail vehicle of around 30 years, battery vehicles are more cost-effective than diesels.’