Say plug-in hybrid and images of cars and vans with petrol or diesel engines and a battery pack driving electric motors flashes in front. Siemens Mobility has stretched the concept a little more to trains and its a unique hybrid system which is electric-electric hybrid. Now what does that mean?

The electric-electric hybrid is a concept to remove diesel locomotives from non-electrified routes. So what it comprises is an electric train which normally draws power from an overhead cable on electrified routes but changes over to battery power for non-electrified routes. These trains carry a Li-ion battery pack which gets charged when the train is using the electrified portion of the route or when it brakes. This same battery provides energy to operate the train when he overhead power is not available.

Siemens Mobility has developed the Mireo, which is a battery powered electric multiple unit (EMU). This platform uses a modular architecture to produce trains comprising between two and seven coaches which are 50 to 140 m long. All the coaches are articulates and there are multiple electric units which provide traction to the train. The Mireo is capable of top speed between 140 to 200 km/h. They use high capacity batteries which provide them with up to 80 km of battery only range per charge. These trains have better aerodynamics and are lighter than the previous models.

The Mireo has large windows to provide a bright and airy interior. The interiors are marked by easy to read pictogram guides for passengers. The interiors are designed in a manner that either provides more seats for the same train length as earlier models or shorter trains for same seating capacity. All the components are mounted either below the floor or above the roof thus providing a large open interior with sufficient space for wheelchairs, strollers etc to be stowed.

Siemens Mobility has bagged an order to supply 20 Mireo B two coach trains to Landesanstalt Schienenfahrzeuge Baden-Württemberg (SFBW). These trains have a seating capacity of 120 passengers and will operate on the Network 8 Ortenau route. They have a battery only range of 80 Kms.