The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is implementing a further measure of its Electrification Plus Programme: Funding support for alternative drive systems in rail transport. The first call for funding from the corresponding “Funding Guideline for the Promotion of Alternative Drive Systems in Rail Transport” (“Förderrichtlinie zur Förderung alternativer Antriebe im Schienenverkehr”) was published today.

The focus of the funding is on the procurement of rail vehicles with innovative, alternative drives and the charging and refuelling infrastructure necessary for their operation. In addition, support for the preparation of studies on possible applications of rail vehicles with alternative drives is also part of the funding call. A total of 227 million euros is available for this purpose.

Funding is available for:

  • The procurement of innovative rail vehicles or the conversion to alternative drives that show significant CO2 savings for routes without overhead lines
  • The construction of charging/hydrogen refuelling infrastructure and electrolysis plants for the production of hydrogen
  • Studies on possible applications in the respective route network.

Applications under this first funding call, which has now been launched, can be submitted until 31 August 2021.


Over recent years, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has already funded several development projects for alternative drive systems for railcars. By 2050, 100% of all train kilometres travelled are to be electric or climate-neutral. To achieve this, 70% of the rail network is to be equipped with overhead lines. On stretches without overhead lines, the trains are to run with alternative drive systems.

Further information (in German) on the funding call and the application process:


NOW online seminar: First call for funding for alternative drives in rail transport

On 1 July 2021, experts from NOW GmbH and Project Management Jülich (PtJ) will be presenting the current funding call and answering questions about the submission procedure.

Further information and registration