World’s First Automatic S-Bahn Train Enters Passenger Service

The first digital S-Bahn automatic trains have commenced passenger service in Hamburg, Germany.

Four digital S-Bahn trains are now in regular use on the S2 line that runs between Berliner Tor and Bergedorf.

Automatic S-Bahn
Deutsche Bahn and Siemens, together with the city of Hamburg, presented the Digital S-Bahn, the world’s first self-propelled train in rail traffic

Currently, a train driver remains on board to monitor the train, but all manoeuvres are completed automatically.

Kay Arnecke, Managing Director, S-Bahn Hamburg said:

“The digital S-Bahn Hamburg now takes our passengers, that is a change of era. With this technology, we can use up to 30 percent more trains without building a meter of new track. In addition, the digital control makes the S-Bahn more reliable and even more energy-efficient. Hamburg is thus a pioneer of the digital rail system in Germany.”

Deutsche Bahn and Siemens first ran the Digital S-Bahn at the ITS Congress in October 2021.

The two companies have invested 60 million EUR in the model, which is part of DB’s Digital Rail Germany programme.

Dean Balatinac, Head of Rail Sales at Siemens Mobility said:

“Thanks to the route and vehicle equipment from Siemens, the digital S-Bahn Hamburg runs the perfect timetable, accurate to the second and energy-optimised - fully automated. We are thus supporting Deutsche Bahn in its goal of protecting the climate and at the same time making train travel even more attractive. Thanks to open interfaces, the technology can be used immediately by all operators worldwide and for all types of trains.”

It is anticipated that the core network of the S-Bahn will be equipped with automatic trains by the end of the decade.

64 additional trains of the latest 490 series with digital technology have been ordered and will be put into service from 2025.

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