Siemens Mobility is opening a new railway depot in Offenburg, Germany, together with regional railway operator Südwestdeutsche Landesverkehrs-GmbH (SWEG).

The new depot will be used to maintain the Siemens Mireo Plus B battery-powered trains that are expected to enter service in the SWEG Network 8, also known as the Ortenau Network, from December 2023.

SWEG will lease the depot to Siemens Mobility for 30 years from June 2023. As part of the facility’s opening ceremony, the Mireo Plus B took its first public test run on the route between Offenburg and Gengenbach.

The new workshop is located near the Offenburg train station in the city’s northeast. Covering an area of 1,350 square metres, the depot includes two pit tracks, roof work stands, and a full-length gantry crane.

Two outbuildings, 350 square metres and 200 square metres in area, provide space for storage, offices, and social facilities. Siemens Mobility will also have access to the onsite SWEG infrastructure, such as the outdoor car wash.

“With this new depot, we have created a new home for sustainable mobility together with SWEG,” said Johannes Emmelheinz, Siemens Mobility customer services CEO.

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“The completion of the new facility lays the foundation for operating our first battery-powered train fleet in Germany that will provide climate-friendly, local zero-emission passenger transport. Our contract to provide the trains’ maintenance and repairs will ensure reliable and punctual regional rail service over the long term.”

In addition, Baden-Württemberg’s Transport Minister Winfried Hermann and SWEG CEOs Tobias Harms and Thilo Grabo signed the transport contract transferring the operation of Network 8 from the state to SWEG for 15 years as of December 2023. 

“This December we will inaugurate the battery-electric age for regional rail transport in Baden-Württemberg in Ortenau,” said Hermann.

“With today’s signing of the contract, the state has given SWEG the responsibility of using this innovative technology to bring passengers safely and reliably to their destinations for another 15 years.”

In 2020, the Baden-Württemberg State Authority for Rail Vehicles (SFBW) ordered 27 two-car, 120-seat Mireo Plus B battery-powered trainsets from Siemens Mobility.

With their battery hybrid drive, the trains can operate on electrified as well as non-electrified routes. Running on batteries, the Mireo Plus B has a range of around 80km.