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09 Sep 2020, 14:29
Benjamin Wehrmann

German rail operator adds hundreds of electro-diesel hybrid locomotives to fleet

Clean Energy Wire

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has ordered up to 400 electro-diesel hybrid locomotives from Siemens for its cargo fleet in a bid to improve its climate record, the semi-public train company said in a statement. The locomotives that can be operated both with electricity and with diesel fuel will cost DB more than one billion euros, but are expected to save the company up to eight million litres of diesel every year. However, their roll-out will not commence until 2023 at the earliest. The new haul engines offer "the best of both worlds," according to Siemens Mobility head Albrecht Neumann. "On electrified sections, the trains are powered purely electrically to save fuel and maintenance costs. On sections without overhead power lines, you can change to diesel powering without changing the haul engine,” he added. While most of Germany's railroad network is already electrified, the "last mile" of many cargo train journeys often lack overhead lines, meaning locomotives have to use their combustion engines. DB said it aims to equip about 70 percent of its diesel locomotives with the technology by 2030.

The train company earlier this year benefited from an unprecedented cash injection of more than 80 billion euros from the state until 2030 in a bid to increase DB's role in reducing transport sector emissions. However, despite DB already making major investments in modernising its fleet, Germany still trails its European neighbours in railroad investments per capita.

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