The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport’s (BMDV – Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr) funding programme for alternative drive systems in rail transport is entering into its third round. Applications for the procurement and retrofitting of alternative drive systems in rail transport as well as for the infrastructure necessary for their operation can now be submitted. The BMDV is making around 93 million euros available for this purpose.

Dr Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport: “On non-electrified rail lines, alternative drives are a good climate-neutral option if it is not economically viable at the local level to equip the section of line with an overhead line. That is why we are supporting companies in rail transport with an additional 93 million euros to switch from diesel locomotives to clean rail vehicles with batteries or hydrogen, with an open-technology approach.”

With the guideline for the support of alternative drive systems in rail transport (Richtlinie zur Förderung alternativer Antriebe im Schienenverkehr), the BMDV has been supporting the market activation and the market ramp-up of alternative drive technologies in rail transport since February 2021. The guideline represents one of four pillars of the federal government’s rail electrification programme to increase the degree of electrification of rail transport in Germany.

The third funding call targets locally emission-free alternative drive systems. Eligible for funding are:

  • Multiple units for local rail passenger transport and locomotives for rail freight transport with locally CO2-free alternative drives
  • Charging and refuelling infrastructure for the operation of alternative drives as well as electrolysis plants for the production of hydrogen
  • Studies on possible applications of alternative drive systems in rail transport (local rail passenger, rail freight and shunting operations)

The official documents for the funding call can be accessed (in German) on the website of the project management organisation PtJ (Projektträger Jülich). Applications can be submitted up to and including 28 August 2023. The funding will be awarded in a competitive procedure.

A total of 412 million euros will be made available via the guideline in the period 2021-2026. The share of vehicle funding will be made available through the European Recovery and Resilience Facility as part of the German Recovery and Resilience Plan (DARP – Deutscher Aufbau- und Resilienzplan).

In an online seminar on 10.07.2023 from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon, NOW GmbH and Project Management Jülich (PtJ) will go into detail about the contents of the new funding call: Register now.

More information can be found at (in German)

Call for applications (PDF)