Germany: DB Inaugurates Ruhr-Sieg Line Digital Interlocking Technology

Modernisation of signalling and interlocking technology on Deutsche Bahn’s (DB) Ruhr-Sieg line between Letmathe and Kreuztal has been completed in just 18 months.

Finnentrop modernisation infographic
Finnentrop modernisation infographic

The inauguration of this technology marks the first commissioning of a rail modernisation project in the federal government’s fast-track programme set aside – a stimulus package created to combat the economic effects of the pandemic.

As part of this package 500 million euros (535.86m USD) were set aside specifically for the modernisation of rail interlocking technology.

This project was overseen by Siemens Mobility and LEONHARD WEISS, which laid total of 385 kilometres of cable on 45km of the line between Letmathe and Kreuztal. A total of 235 signals and 73 point machines were renewed and nine new signal arms were installed.

Four level crossings were also renewed or replaced, while a further eleven were adapted to the new technology.

Three interlockings in Nachrodt, Plettenberg and Altenhundem – all between 30 and 50 years old – were replaced and three newly installed modules in Altena, Plettenberg and Altenhundem were also connected to the central Finnentrop interlocking, which now centrally controls the entire route.

 The introduction of digital interlocking technology creates a base for improved rail automation and expanded mobility said Andre Rodenbeck, CEO Rail Infrastructure at Siemens Mobility, and the network will now become more reliable thanks to improved control and flexibility of trains.

Speed and ease of maintenance will also be boosted.

Jens Bergmann, Board Member for Infrastructure Planning and Projects at DB Netz, said:

“The digitalisation of rail is gaining speed. Thanks to the close collaboration between the federal government, DB and industry, we’re inaugurating the expanded and modernised Finnentrop interlocking after just 18 months of work.

“Together we’re creating a new rail network for Germany – with higher capacity and greater reliability.”

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