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Metro Berlin introduces semi-automated operation using Siemens Mobility CBTC technology

© Urban Transport Magazine

Siemens Mobility has won the tender from Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) and will introduce a Communications-Based Train Control System (CBTC) on the U5 and U8 metro lines in Berlin for the first time. The state-of-the-art Trainguard MT CBTC solution will enable semi-automated operation (GoA2: Grade of Automation) on the U5 line by 2029 and on the U8 line by 2032, increasing capacity on these lines by around 30%. Technically speaking, CBTC technology even allows headways of less than 100 seconds, which would allow a capacity increase by approximately 1/3 on the lines. This technological advance will also significantly improve the reliability and punctuality of the two metro lines. Siemens Mobility will carry out the conversion during ongoing operations so that trains on both lines of Germany’s largest metro system can continue to run uninterrupted throughout the entire project. The contract has a volume of approximately 200 million euros, plus additional long-term technology maintenance contracts.

Trainguard MT train control system for Berlin metro lines U5 and U8

The BVG lines U5 and U8 will be equipped with Trainguard MT over a total route length of 40 kilometers, which includes all 26 stations on the U5 line and 24 stations on the U8 line. Siemens Mobility will completely replace the existing signaling system with its digital CBTC technology to enable a more efficient and centralized monitoring of operations and a higher level of automation and connectivity. When the system is installed, the semi-automated operation will allow trains to communication continuously with the trackside, run automatically at specified safety intervals, perform emergency braking, and accelerate and brake autonomously. The train driver can then concentrate on boarding and alighting passengers, monitor the route visually, and intervene in an emergency. By relying on real-time data on train positions and speeds, more trains can run at shorter headways along the line. 

(Info: Siemens Mobility)

© BVG – Oliver Lang