Germany’s DB Regio Trains to Run on Biofuel

At least 57 Deutsche Bahn’s DB Regio trains using eco-friendly biofuel are currently being run on the Aulendorfer Kreuz and Donau-Ostalb networks by Deutsche Bahn and the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The biofuel being utilized by DB Regio is hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO),devoid of palm oil, contains organic byproducts and waste, and does not compete with the manufacturing of food or animal feed. While hauling trains of approximately 3000 tonnes for last-mile operations at private sidings, ports, and freight terminals, DB Cargo’s existing fleet of diesel main line and shunting locomotives will be able to run on HVO, the company revealed in March after thorough testing.

In Baden-Württemberg, diesel trains that run on non-electrified lines won’t need to be particularly altered to utilize the biofuel but instead may keep running until the end of their service lives, functioning in a more ecologically responsible way. This will increase sustainability and help preserve resources.

Thorsten Krenz, a DB Group representative for the state of Baden-Württemberg, and Winfried Hermann, the Baden-Württemberg minister of transportation, were on hand on September 1 to refuel the first regional train to run on the new fuel. DB has switched the refueling point at Aulendorf from diesel to biofuel. Other operators can also utilize the refueling station.

“Trains should no longer run on climate-damaging diesel,” says Hermann, as cited by IRJ. “We are therefore working nationwide on a strategy to get away from diesel fuel. Where electrification is not yet possible, we will rely on alternative fuels. From today, the diesel vehicles operating here in Upper Swabia will have a significantly lower CO2 footprint. The state of Baden-Württemberg is supporting these measures in 2022 and 2023 with a total of €400,000.”