Development of business units

Digital Rail for Germany 2 Digitale Schiene Deutschland To the Strong Rail strategy

DSD has continued to pick up speed and will be implemented in two stages: the foundations entail creating a digital platform for the rail system by equipping it with digital interlockings and the European Train Control System (ETCS). This platform will then be used to operate new technologies to enable the rail operations of the future. This allows the capacity, quality and reliability of the rail system to be increased substantially.

Together with the EBA and the German Railway Industry Association (Verband der Bahnindustrie; VDB), we have devel­oped a mutual understanding in order to implement the comprehensive DSD rollout, having signed a letter of intent in September 2020. Through leaner, more efficient processes, targeted pilot projects and the early replacement of existing interlockings, we aim to implement the DSD rollout faster than previously planned. The aim is to fully equip the network with digital command and control technology by 2035.

The implementation of DSD began in 2020. As part of the starter pack, the rollout of ETCS and digital interlock­­ings has started in the context of the Stuttgart Digital Hub, the Cologne — Rhine/Main high-speed rail line and the ability to traverse the Scandinavia — Mediterranean trans-European cor­­­ridor. Stuttgart will be the first region in Germany to receive the digital train control and interlocking technology. To speed up the rollout of digital interlockings, the Federal Government is making € 500 million available in addition-­­­al funds for a high-speed program by the end of 2021. This will be used to develop and test new processes and technologies to equip the net­work comprehensively with digital inter­lockings.

Key milestones have also been reached in the digitalization of the rail system. In the Hamburg Digital S-Bahn (metro) pilot project, partially automated trains based on ETCS are running together with conventional trains on the 23 km Berliner Tor — Bergedorf — Aumühle line. In addition to highly automated operation, which should be approved by the EBA for passenger services in 2021, fully automated switching moves have been successfully trialed at Bergedorf station.The Hamburg Digital S-Bahn (metro) pilot project has created an important basis for all subsequent highly automated rail operation projects. The Sensors4Rail project has begun to equip another Hamburg S-Bahn (metro) vehicle with state-of-the-art sensor technology and a high-resolution digital map. This allows the vehicle to recognize its environment and locate itself precisely and continuously in real time. These functions constitute further important steps toward higher levels of automation of rail operations.

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