GERMANY: DB inaugurated a carbon-neutral ICE depot in the Nippes area of Köln on February 23.

The 23 ha site is expected to reduce energy equivalent to 1 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year through various features, including geothermal heating and cooling. A 180 m2 solar heating plant is installed, as well as 2 100 m2 of solar panels with an electricity generating capacity of 300 kWh. Internal and external LED lighting is expected to result in a 15% cost saving compared with conventional lighting.

An electric driverless shuttle is available for staff travelling to and from the nearby S-Bahn station, and cycles are provided for moving around the site. There is a covered cycle parking, and solar-powered charging points for e-bikes and electric cars.

The €220m workshop can handle all types of ICE. DB currently has 170 staff working on site, and expects to have a total of 400 once all positions have been filled.

‘The first CO2-neutral ICE workshop in Köln-Nippes strengthens DB’s leadership role in climate protection’, said Berthold Huber, Managing Director of DB’s passenger division. ‘Since January our long-distance customers are travelling using 100% green electricity.’

DB aims to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 50% compared with 2006 by 2030. It also aims to increase the share of green energy in its traction power supply from 42% to 70%, rising to 100% by 2050.