Every day, approximately 750,000 people use the rail services of S-Bahn Hamburg, one of the most important suburban railway networks in Germany. In order to facilitate a further increase in passenger traffic over the long term, the City of Hamburg, in partnership with Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn (German Railways), launched a future-oriented digitalization project in 2018. Within the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg project, the three partners are implementing highly automated S-Bahn operations for the first time in Germany. To achieve this, Siemens Mobility is equipping existing S-Bahn Hamburg rail vehicles with the latest ETCS (European Train Control System) railway safety standard and ATO (Automatic Train Operation).
ATO over ETCS as the technology of the future for digitalized rail operations
From autumn 2021, the first four suburban trains will run highly automated operations on the 23-kilometre-long section between the Berliner Tor and Bergedorf stations. To facilitate this, the signalling technology will be converted from conventional to radio-controlled railway operations. Technical implementation is based on the future “ATO over ETCS” European technical standard. The Siemens Trainguard 200© ETCS solution, which conforms to Baseline 3 Release 2 operation and is already in widespread use, will be deployed in combination with the automatic ATO train control system.
When trains depart from the Berliner Tor station, the highly automated journey commences in ETCS Level 2 operation. ETCS and ATO monitor the train’s drive and braking systems throughout the journey in the presence of a train driver. In addition to the journey, the processes at the stations are also highly automated. This grade of automation is termed GoA2.
Intelligent conversion for greater capacity and energy efficiency
Under automated train operation, electronic signal boxes and conversion to the future “ATO over ETCS” European technical standard allow train frequency to be increased and passenger handling to be optimized. Digitalized rail transport offers many advantages: In addition to shorter headways, a more stable timetable and greater punctuality, stop times are also shortened, thereby facilitating energy-optimized operation and reducing operating costs.
Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility are working together in a development collaboration for the “Digital S-Bahn Hamburg” pilot project. The results of this collaboration deliver a key contribution to the digitalization of rail operations and for the advancement of the “Digitale Schiene Deutschland” (Digital Rail for Germany) project.
ETCS equipment with a high safety standard
When equipping the rail vehicles with ETCS, Siemens Mobility relies on vehicle components from DEUTA-WERKE that meet Safety Integrity Level requirements. To ensure safe display, the MFTRS1080kwa driver’s desk terminal with patented IconTrust® and SelectTrust® technology and the DEUTA software application are utilised, together with the REDBOXtop Safe+ Multi-Functional Recorder. Having previously collaborated in many other projects, both companies are perfectly attuned to each other. Jens Nordmann, Head of Train Control at Siemens Mobility, values “in particular the close-knit and excellent cooperation.”
DEUTA-WERKE offers a range of terminal and event recorder variants. The 8” to 12” terminals are prepared for the safe IconTrust®-technology. Project-specific requirements of the hardware and software are all evaluated and flow as necessary into the product or software. The challenge facing the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg project is for the software application to display the graphics and entries from the ETCS Baseline 3.6, I60R and ATO, pursuant to ERA DMI 3.6.0, on a redundant dual MFTRS1080kwa display with Safety Integrity Level.
The schedule aims for the official presentation of the vehicles to take place at the ITS World Congress in October 2021.
DEUTA is very happy to be part of this pioneering flagship project in collaboration with Siemens Mobility.