HLB battery train order

GERMANY: Hessische Landesbahn has ordered three Mireo Plus B battery-electric multiple-units from Siemens Mobility to replace diesel sets on steep and partly-electrified routes in the Westerwald region.

The BEMUs will be used from the December 2025 timetable change on the 115 km Oberwesterwaldbahn service RB90 Limburg – Au – Siegen and Unterwesterwaldbahn service RB29 Limburg – Montabaur – Siershahn. The two routes total 400 000 train-km/year.

Siemens Mobility said the trains will have a range of 80 km in battery mode on the ‘topographically challenging routes’.

The 20 min dwell time between RB29 services is expected to be sufficient for recharging from the overhead electrification at Limburg, while RB90 trains will be charged on the electrified section between Au and Siegen. Hessische Landesbahn purchases zero-emission power for its electric traction needs, and says 1 150 tonnes/year of CO2 will be saved by replacing diesel as well.


‘We are convinced that this environmentally-friendly, innovative technology is especially suitable for use on difficult, longer uphill stretches in the low mountains, and are really pleased to have this opportunity to deliver proof of this capability in everyday operations’, said Hessische Landesbahn CEO Veit Salzmann when the order was announced on February 7.

Each two-car unit will have 126 seats and standing room for 156 passengers. Procurement was supported by the Federal Ministry for Digital & Transport’s alternative traction funding programme, and HLB and transport authority SPNV-Nord designed the tender to give manufacturers the opportunity to integrate production with existing current orders to reduce the delivery time.

‘Expanding the use of alternative drives is indispensable for achieving the mobility transition and protecting the climate’, said Rheinland Pfalz’s Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy & Mobility Katrin Eder. ‘We are preparing for the public transport of the future.’