Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Siemens have developed the world’s first train that runs by itself in rail traffic. Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of DB, and Dr Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG, presented the vehicle of the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg project together with Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, during the premiere journey on 11 October on the occasion of the ITS World Congress, which took place in Hamburg from 11 to 15 October 2021.
The train is controlled by digital technology and runs automatically. The drivers remain on board to monitor the journey with passengers. Shunting – for example, turning the train around – is done without personnel. The project partners DB, Siemens Mobility and the City of Hamburg have invested a total of 60 million euros in the digital S-Bahn Hamburg, which is part of DB’s Digital Rail Germany programme.
Dr Richard Lutz, Chairman of the DB Management Board: “Today we are experiencing a real change of era: the railway has arrived in the digital future and Digital Rail Germany has become a reality. With automatic rail operation, we can offer our passengers a significantly larger, more reliable and therefore better service – without having to build a new kilometre of track. Our goal: to make the railway attractive for more and more people. This is the only way to make the mobility revolution a success.
“We are making rail transport more intelligent. Trains run the perfect timetable automatically, accurate to the second and energy-optimised,” says Dr Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens AG. “In this way, we are supporting our partner Deutsche Bahn in its goal of making train travel more attractive and protecting the climate. Because with our technology, our customers can transport up to 30 percent more passengers, significantly improve punctuality and save more than 30 percent energy. The digital S-Bahn Hamburg is a world first. The new technology is already approved and because it has open interfaces, all operators worldwide can use it immediately for all train types.”
Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg: “Digitisation holds a lot of potential for the entire Hamburg S-Bahn network. We are creating greater capacities on the existing tracks and improving the reliability and punctuality of rail travel. The premiere of the digital S-Bahn at the ITS World Congress is a strong signal for efficient and climate-friendly mobility of the future.”
The premiere run of the digital S-Bahn took place at the start of the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) World Congress in Hamburg. During the congress, four digital S-Bahns will run automatically on the 23-kilometre section of S-Bahn line 21 between Berliner Tor and Bergedorf/Aumühle stations.
The technical basis for digital railway operation is the future European standard ATO (Automatic Train Operation) combined with the European Train Control System (ETCS). The trains receive the control signals via radio. From December onwards, the four digital S-Bahn trains will be in scheduled service in Hamburg. The planning for equipping the S-Bahn Hamburg by the end of the decade is already underway, investments in trains and infrastructure have started. In the future, the technology will also be used nationwide in regional and long-distance transport.
DB presents further innovations at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg
From 11 to 15 October, Hamburg is a global showcase for the future of mobility with the ITS Congress. Companies from all over the world will showcase their innovations at the world’s largest trade fair for transport and logistics. DB presents innovations in infrastructure, stations, long-distance and local transport and connecting mobility. Only last year, DB and the City of Hamburg extended their Smart City partnership, agreed in 2017, by a further five years. Both partners want to use digital technologies and innovative ideas to make public transport and stations more attractive for customers.27.10.2021