First passengers on board battery-electric trains: replacing diesel locomotives

In Germanyin the Baden-Württemberg region, the tests with passengers on board for the i electric trains by Alstom. But aren’t trains normally already electric? The difference of the new models Alstom Live in onboard batterywhich allows the train to travel to 120km even in the absence of overhead power lines.

A not uncommon situation in several European regions, which obliges line management companies to use locomotives diesel for non-electrified sections. Alstom had already studied new trains a hydrogen fuel cellfor routes with major interruptions or complete absence of electricity, while the new battery-powered train is used for routes with deviations of up to about 100 km.


The real-world test aims to gain experience, data, and assess any critical issues. On weekdays, the battery-electric train will run on the Stuttgart – Horb line, while on Saturdays and Sundays it will travel to Pleinfeld Gunzenhausen in the Franconian Lake District. In this way, it is expected to always remain active, to maximize the use of available time and to have different scenarios. Indeed, in the first case the train is recharged during the tripin the electrified sections, while in the second the total absence of electricity allows the rRecharge only at stations.

In Germany, it is estimated that there are up to 450 lines which, for the reasons mentioned above, are operated with diesel vehicles. With Alstom’s new solution, old locomotives could be retired, significantly reducing the environmental impact of rail transport.