NEB Netz Ostbrandenburg Siemens Mobility Mireo Plus B battery multiple-unit impression

GERMANY: Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn has awarded Siemens Mobility a contract to supply a fleet of 31 battery-electric Mireo Plus B multiple-units for use on Netz Ostbrandenburg services northeast of Berlin.

The order announced on November 15 includes spare parts and 12 years of maintenance, with the manufacturer responsible for the availability of the trains from their introduction in December 2024 through to the end of the Netz Ostbrandenburg operating contract in 2036.

The BEMUs will be able to use 15 kV 16·7 Hz overhead electrification where available, with the lithium-ion batteries charged from the overhead and by regenerative braking and providing a range of more than 90 km on non-electrified tracks.

This is expected to reduced annual diesel consumption by around 4·4 million litres and eliminate local CO2 emissions. Depending on the electricity generating mix, the BEMUs could cut regional emissions by roughly 11 500 tonnes per year and also reduce particulates.

NEB Netz Ostbrandenburg Siemens Mobility Mireo Plus B battery-electric multiple-unit impression

The two-car units will have three doors on each side, with easy boarding from low platforms for passengers with wheelchairs or pushchairs. There will be 128 seats, a family area and 12 spaces for bicycles, wheelchairs and pushchairs. Facilities will include free wi-fi, a real-time passenger information system and around 60 power sockets, as well as USB charging ports and locations for inductive charging.

‘With the Mireo Plus B we have a high-performance, highly efficient and innovative train in terms of performance, range and equipment, and one that’s especially suitable for the partially electrified regional lines’, said NEB Managing Director Detlef Bröcker.

Multiple benefits

Following a competitive tender, in June Berlin-Brandenburg transport authority VBB awarded incumbent NEB the next contract to operate Netz Ostbrandenburg regional services.

The contract runs for 12 years from December 2024 and includes a 30% increase in services to 6·7 million train-km/year, as well as the operation of longer trains and the introduction of zero-emission rolling stock to replace current diesel multiple-units.

The initial plan was that 26 battery units would be ordered, along with a further five Pesa Link DMUs for use on route RB26 from Berlin to Müncheberg. However, it was determined that this service could be provided using five extra Mireo BEMUs units alongside the current fleet of 11 Pesa DMUs, eliminating the need to order more diesel trains.

NEB is the second customer for the battery version of Siemens Mobility’s Mireo family, with Baden-Württemberg’s rolling stock owning body SFBW having ordered 20 for use on for Netz 8 Ortenau services and three for Hermann-Hesse-Bahn services, with entry into service planned for 2023.

The Land of Brandenburg’s Transport Minister Guido Beermann said ‘the use of environmentally friendly propulsion systems in public transport marks a milestone in the technical transition taking place in the rail sector’, and the BEMUs would provide ‘real added value in terms of climate compatibility and economy’ when compared to the current DMUs.

Berlin Senator for the Environment, Transport & Climate Protection Regine Günther said the combination of an increase in passenger services, a reduction in emissions and the specification of the new trains would make regional rail services ‘more attractive for daily commuting and a real alternative to private cars’.

Netz Ostbrandenburg services to be operated with battery-electric multiple-units
RB12 Berlin Ostkreuz – Oranienburg – Templin Stadt
RB25 Berlin Ostkreuz – Werneuchen
RB26 Berlin-Lichtenberg – Müncheberg (every second train Mondays to Fridays; RB26 will also use Pesa Link DMUs)
RB35 Fürstenwalde (Spree) – Bad Saarow
RB36 Frankfurt (Oder) – Beeskow – Königs Wusterhausen
RB54 Rheinsberg (Mark) – Löwenberg (Mark) (– Berlin Ostkreuz)
RB60 Eberswalde – Wriezen – Frankfurt (Oder)
RB61 Schwedt (Oder) – Angermünde
RB62 Angermünde – Prenzlau
RB63 Eberswalde – Joachimsthal (– Berlin Hbf)