GERMANY: Siemens has begun final assembly of the first of its first Miro electric multiple-units.

The Mireo concept for a lighter, quieter and more energy-efficient successor to the Desiro Main Line family of commuter and regional EMUs was announced at InnoTrans 2016.

DB Regio became the launch customer when it placed a firm order for 24 three-car units in February 2017. These 160 km/h EMUs are to be used on Offenburg – Freiburg – Basel/Neuenburg and Freiburg – Endingen/Breisach services which DB is to operate for 12½ years from June 2020 under the Rheintal Netz 4 contract awarded by the Land of Baden-Württemberg.

They will be the first EMUs to use Siemens’ Tractronic Thinity traction transformers, which are designed to be more efficient and up to 25% lighter than previous transformers of the same rating.

DB Regio placed a second Mireo order in August 2017, covering 57 three-car units for use on S-Bahn Rhein-Neckar services.

In November 2017 Siemens and Canadian fuel cell technology company Ballard Power Systems announced an an agreement to develop a 200 kW fuel cell suitable for powering Mireo EMUs, with an initial deployment planned for 2021.