Germany: Hitachi Rail Installs Digital Interlocking at Meitingen-Mertingen

Hitachi Rail has completed the installation of its digital interlocking (DSTW) technology at Meitingen-Mertingen on the Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor.

This section of rail spans 25 kilometres and is essential for both passenger and freight traffic.

The project involved replacing existing signalling systems and signal boxes with Hitachi Rail’s DSTW technology to enhance safety, reliability, and comfort in railway operations.

Bi-standard ERTMS/TVM
Hitachi Rail’s digital signalling in Germany will unlock high-speed travel on a key European corridor

Thanks to this installation, trains can now travel at speeds of up to 200 km/h through Meitingen-Mertingen. This corridor connects Finland and Sweden in the north with Malta in the south, making it a key route for intra-European travel.

The project is part of the larger national Digital Rail Germany (DSD) initiative, aimed at digitalising the railway network to provide sustainable transport, increased capacity, and long-term reliability.

Compared to the system it has replaced, Hitachi Rail’s DSTW technology reduces the amount of required wayside technology and allows for operation from greater distances. It is also compatible with future technological developments and requires less maintenance.

The system uses encrypted data connections to link to sensors and switches, ensuring trains only enter free track sections. This digitalisation enhances both the safety and efficiency of the rail system without the need for additional rail construction.

Markus Fritz, COO of Hitachi Rail Germany said:

“We are pleased to have successfully achieved one of the most important pre-production milestones of the Digital Rail Germany project with the commissioning of the Digital Interlocking (DSTW) in Meitingen-Mertingen. In recent months, many processes, responsibilities, and technologies had to be adapted to the digital interlocking design, enabling the first DSTW to operate on a trans-European corridor. For the first time in Germany, the digital track field was connected via the rail-operated IP network - including cyber security - to a control and safety technology data centre. We are proud to successfully deliver this first-of-its-kind solution.”

This project was delivered by Thales’ Ground Transportation Systems business (GTS) which is now part of Hitachi Rail.

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