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The Erzgebirgsbahn Receives Recognition from the Federal President

„EcoTrain“ develops a hybrid drive for rail vehicles ready for series production – Professorship of Management Accounting and Control at TU Chemnitz is project partner and assesses sustainability

State Secretary for Environment, Herbert Wolff, congratulated the Deutsche Bahn (DB) for their successful performance in the “Ausgezeichnete Orte im Land der Ideen” competition. The DB RegioNetz Verkehrs GmbH and their project partners, the Technische Universität Chemnitz, the Technische Universität Dresden, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (IVI) developed with the “EcoTrain” an especially energy-efficient hybrid drive for rail vehicles. For this regionally developed drive and energy management and the good networking of local partners of the Saxon economy and science the DB-Erzgebirgsbahn received the by Federal President Joachim Gauck signed certificate in Annaberg-Buchholz on the 2nd November 2016. “I am very pleased, that an innovative project from Saxony gained nationwide acknowledgement for its environmental performances in particular. EcoTrain very practically illustrates the connection between climate and resource protection on the one hand, and technological research work on the other hand. The economic potential of this railcar is an important impetus for the entire region”, said State Secretary Wolff.

Chairman of the board of the DB RegioNetz GmbH, Dr. Jürgen Dornbach, states:”We are proud of having developed an environmentally friendly product for the rural area in the course of this federally funded project - from the region for the region in a sense, with highly motivated personnel! Together with our partners we do not only engage in an active location policy, but also contribute a sustainable input for the mobility of tomorrow due to this innovation.”

“In order to accomplish a faster way of putting results of research and development such as the EcoTrain into practice, the Saxon State Ministry for the Environment and Agriculture initiated the Zukunftsinitiative simul+”, State Secretary Wolff says. “With this initiative we want to link science and practice and introduce innovative projects of the fields of environment, agriculture, and food industry. Our main goals are the exchange of experience, establishing of contacts, new ideas and projects. The EcoTrain, too, is an important contribution to energy efficiency and environment protection.”

Prof. Dr. Uwe Götze, Head of the Professorship of Management Accounting and Control, explains the tasks the researchers in Chemnitz face. “With the analyses we conduct throughout the development process, we hope to contribute to the accomplishment of the economic and ecological goals we have set. By analysing design alternatives concerning their potential to meet our targets, we will derive recommendations for action and eventually evaluate the entire EcoTrain system with respect to its contribution to improving sustainability.” The methods developed for this process can also be applied to other system design tasks.

Key word: EcoTrain

The EcoTrain is a diesel-electric hybrid rail car with an energy storage system developed for series production. The unique modular drive- and storage technologies used in the modified rail car of the VT 642 series allow the rail car to adapt to different route requirements for example in mountain areas. Thus, the intelligent energy management system of the EcoTrain connects all auxiliary users to the hybrid drive and proactively reacts to timetable changes and local topography, a significant increase of efficiency and a reduction of emissions during operation are possible. Furthermore, the energy efficiency increases due to the usage of an environmental friendly air-condition with heating pumps. Due to those technical achievements, the carbon emission of the EcoTrain is significantly reduced in contrast to the presently utilized rail cars.

Because of the integrated energy storage system it is possible to drive only on electric power in sensible areas. This allows reducing noise and pollution significantly, for example in urban areas. Also stops at stations can be approached by the electric drive only, in order to reduce noise pollution and emissions. In a further step of the project, the EcoTrain will be equipped with a collector to be able to use the available overhead cable infrastructure driving even more environmentally friendly. In the coming year, the authorisation for the EcoTrain will be applied for, so that a first small series of twelve additional vehicles at the DB Erzgebirgsbahn are modified in 2018.

More information about the TU Chemnitz’s involvement is available from Prof. Dr. Uwe Götze, Telephone 0049 371 531-38553, email uwe.goetze@wirtschaft.tu-chemnitz.de, as well as from Lilly Meynerts, Telephone 0049 371 531-37854, email lilly.meynerts@wirtschaft.tu-chemnitz.de.

An overview can be found here: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/wirtschaft/bwl3/English/2_ecotrain.php

(Translation: Alissa Hölzel)

Mario Steinebach

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