Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) says the new electronic interlocking at Linz Station has successfully entered service. It has been connected to the railway network for ten days now. OEBB implemented the major project without a hitch.
The infrastructure arm of Austrian Federal Railways, ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG, connected the new electronic interlocking (signal box) to the railway network at Linz Central Station on 9 August. 150 people participated in the major project, which completed on 18 August.
Josef Pree, Head of the Signalling and Control Centre in Linz, said:
“The taking into service of the electronic interlocking at Linz Central Station was a particular challenge from an operational standpoint. But thanks to a meticulously planned schedule, it was possible to keep the impact on our customers as low as possible. In order to commission the interlocking with the greatest amount of safety and quality possible, all the participants involved in the implementation had to spend years planning the operation together.”
During the ten-day period when the interlocking was put into service, train traffic around Linz and at Linz Central Station had to run at reduced levels for several days. Several lines were affected. However, normal operations are in place again as of today, 19 August.
It was a 16-phase job to connect the interlocking to the Signalling and Control Centre (BFZ) in Linz. By dividing the works into phases, the impact on passengers was kept to a minimum. It also meant Linz Central Station never had to be shut completely. During the connection phases, the station was always partially closed to train traffic. In total, 232 points, 127 signals for train journeys, 257 signals for shunting operations, 434 track release sections and 294 other signals were modified and incorporated into the signalling and control centre.
The new electronic interlocking at Linz Central Station was constructed between 2017 and 2019. Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, the new interlocking means traffic volume between Vienna and Salzburg via Linz can continue to grow steadily and safely without problems. Passengers will benefit from more punctual trains and information about their train times in real time. The new interlocking is also necessary for the development of the four-track Western Railway to Salzburg.
The works to transform the railway to the west of Linz into four-track line will begin on 2 September. The new interlocking at Linz Central Station is part of this project. The four tracks are necessary to ensure more punctual trains and a greater number of services. The Western Railway is already a four-track line between Vienna and Linz/Kleinmünchen. The section between Wels and Linz is the missing link.
Once the Western Railway is four tracks wide throughout, OEBB will have created the necessary capacity to accommodate growing passenger numbers and freight volume on the route. The total investment in making the Western Railway a four-track line between Linz and Wels will be 1.3 billion euros by the time it is completed. These works are necessary to allow more passengers and goods to reach their destinations in an environmentally friendly way.
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