DB’s locomotives at Munich North’s shunting yard will run on HVO
Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) shunting locomotives at the Munich-North shunting yard (Rangierbahnhof München Nord) will now be fuelled solely by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO). “DB Energie has completely converted the refueling station at the Munich North shunting yard”, said DB, who claimed that this initiative will be advantageous for rail freight.
The benefits for DB Cargo will not only benefit shunting services at the Munich-North yard but also the supply of the Bavarian chemical triangle, the area around the cities of Toging, Burghausen, and Trostberg, east of Munich, where the chemical industry rules the roost. Florian Herrmann, the Bavarian Minister of State for Federal Affairs and Media, said that 9,000 tons of CO2 will be saved every year in Munich alone with this project. DB Cargo highlighted that the converted refueling station could be used by other railway companies as well.
Bremerhaven recently launched the same initiative
“Since mid-2022, we have been gradually converting our filling stations on request, so that our customers can fill up with HVO at 14 filling stations by the end of 2023”, said DB Energie CEO Torsten Schein. In early March, for example, the Bremerhaven seaport launched the same initiative, with shunting locomotives being fueled exclusively by HVO. Three railway companies are currently active as shunting service providers for the last mile to the terminals and back in Bremerhaven. DB Cargo AG, Eisenbahnen und Verkehrsbetriebe Elbe-Weser GmbH (EVB), and FLEX Bahndienstleistungen GmbH can count on 15 shunting locomotives.
DB looking at hydrogen as well
DB is also looking to hydrogen in its search for valid alternative fuels. In October 2022, the company started a collaboration with Australian energy group Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to convert diesel engines into ones running on ammonia and hydrogen which will be used for rail freight.
The initial phase of this project will focus on modifying diesel engines used on locomotives and traction vehicles at Ammonigy’s workshop near Cologne. The two companies pledged to cooperate on the logistics and supply chain for green fuels as well. In fact, DB is willing to provide FFI with its network for the transportation of ammonia and hydrogen in Europe.