Siemens Mobility has awarded a contract to Ballard Power Systems to power seven Mireo Plus H passenger trains in Germany.

Ballard will provide 14,200kW fuel cell modules for these trains, which are scheduled to start operations in the Berlin-Brandenburg region in late 2024.

The supply of these fuel cell modules will begin next year.

Siemens Mobility H2 Technologies platform director Jochen Steinbauer said: “We can only meet climate change targets by increasing rail transportation. Our first order for a fleet of hydrogen-powered trains will enable emission-free rail transport on non-electrified routes in Germany.

“Our Mireo Plus H is a next-generation hydrogen train, featuring longer range, faster acceleration and state-of-the-art technologies, setting new standards in zero-emission passenger transport.”

Furthermore, Ballard reached a letter of intent with Siemens Mobility to deliver a further 200 fuel cell modules totalling 40MW for Mireo Plus H trains in the coming six-year period.

This includes a ‘firm commitment’ on the supply of 100 fuel cell modules totalling 20MW.

Ballard chief commercial officer David Mucciacciaro called the alliance a ‘significant milestone’ and the future of Europe’s zero-emission commuter rail.

“Our fuel cell technology is an ideal solution to support the heavy payload, long range and rapid refueling requirements of Siemen Mobility’s passenger train fleet,” he noted.

Mireo Plus H has a maximum range of 800km and a top speed of 160km/h.

Earlier this month, Siemens and Germany’s national rail company Deutsche Bahn carried out a trial of the hydrogen-driven train.

In June this year, Siemens Mobility secured an order from Niederbarnimer Eisenbahn (NEB) to deliver seven of these trains.