The first Mireo trains for Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn has been presented by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Transport, the Rhineland-Palatinate South (ZSPNV Süd) association for regional rail passenger and the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Neckar GmbH (VRN) for the Hessian district of Bergstrasse, as well as DB Regio Mitte and Siemens Mobility.
Starting September 14, the first trains will begin trial runs with passengers on scheduled railway routes. DB Regio will operate a pair of the approved Mireo trains on the S-Bahn line S9 on the Mannheim –Biblis section. If needed, the new trains will also be used for additional service between Karlsruhe and Mannheim. Trial operations in the network will be gradually expanded after October 12, and the new trains will also operate on routes serving Heidelberg, Bensheim and Schwetzingen. Test runs to Sinsheim/Eppingen and Aglasterhausen are planned to begin in early November.
For operational reasons, the Mannheim –Weinheim –Bensheim section of S-Bahn line S6 will continue to be served with a mixture of new and older trains for the first year of operation. As of December 2021, the new trains will also operate alongthe entire S6 Bensheim –Weinheim -Mannheim -Mainz route and replace the trains currently in service in Rhineland-Palatinate.
In 2017, DB Regio and Siemens Mobility signed a contract for the supply of 57 Mireo trains. A total of 38 trains will be delivered by December 2020, and the remaining 19 Mireos will follow in 2021. The authorities invest EUR 270 million to renew the train fleet. The transport contract has a term of 14 years.
The three-car, Mireo trains for Rhine-Neckar are 70-meter-long and have a capacity for 200 seats. They can run at a maximum speed of 160 km/h.
“We can attract more people to use public transport only by providinga fleet of modern trains. I would like the new Mireo trains and improved service offering on the Rhine-Neckar S-Bahn network to convince many commuters to leave their cars at home and switch to rail,” Winfried Herman, Minister for Transportation, Baden-Württemberg, said.
The interior design provides a spacious atmosphere with modern comfort and security features, including large real-time passenger information displays, free WLAN for passengers, and interior security monitoring systems. Passengers benefit from comfortable seating, power outlets, a high-performance air conditioning system and five multipurpose areas providing sufficient space for baby strollers, wheelchairs and up to 26 bicycles.
The spacious toilet in the middle car has a changing table for babies and barrier-free access for passengers with reduced mobility. All car doors have a sliding step that bridges the gap between the train and platform edge, easing boarding.
At stations and platforms specially modernised with a height of 76 cm for the S-Bahn, passengers have level entries and exits. If required, train crew can use a ramp available in the middle car to help passengers with restricted mobility.
The design of the Mireo is based on a lightweight welded aluminum monocoque body and its modern components allow a 25% reduction in energy consumption. The train’s improved aerodynamics, energy-efficient components and intelligent board network management system also help reduce emissions and noise.