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Bombardier debuts battery train in Berlin in challenge to diesel

[BERLIN] Bombardier Inc launched a battery-run train in Germany this week, the first of its kind to enter passenger services in Europe for more than 60 years.

The "electric hybrid" train is the latest of its kind to debut in Germany, which is offering federal development aid for projects that may speed up electrification of the rail network. Diesel locomotives still run on 40 per cent of Germany's railroads, and the government in Berlin has set an ambitious plan to make the network pollution-free by 2030.

With three carriages and a driver, the Talent 3's maiden trip was in Berlin, where it was developed. The train runs on batteries with a range of 40 kilometers between charges, Bombardier said on its website. An upgraded battery due next year will push the range to 100 kilometers.

Most of the diesel trains serve shorter, regional routes without overhead electrification. Bombardier's Talent can run on partly electrified stretches, tapping overhead power lines to charge, said the company.

Alstom SA said in July it gained orders for as many as 39 hydrogen passenger trains for German regional rail routes. Andreas Dienemann, a spokesman for Bombardier's German unit, said the company is seeking orders for the Talent parallel to running pilot projects that kicked off this month.

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