A new form of Air Traffic Control?

Siemens used a helicopter to fly in signal poles on the Hanover-Uelzen route upgrade.

Siemens used a helicopter to fly in signal poles on the Hanover-Uelzen route upgrade.

Siemens is flying in signals by helicopter on the Hanover-Uelzen route upgrade in a bid to cut the number of engineering possessions needed. With installations carefully timed between trains, airlifting the signals in to place has meant no interruption to services on the route, which has seen the first batch of 90 signals successfully installed.

With work continuing, the next major stage is the start of construction of the new electronic interlocking secondary control centre in Celle, with five new remote interlockings being installed from August. The aim is to replace the existing relay based systems by 2017, and commissioning of the control centre is expected in Q2/3 2014.

The interlockings will control points and signals in fully electronic mode and monitor all train movements on the track. The new interlocking technology will be controlled from the district control office in Hanover.

Siemens converts DBS locomotives for cross-border operations

Siemens is to convert 32 DB Schenker class 189 electric locomotives for cross-border operations between Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, which include electrified branch lines. Siemens will fit the locomotives with the requisite automatic train protection and safety systems for use on Polish and Czech lines, offering further proof that these days, signalling isn’t confined to lineside installations.

The 32 class 189s to be converted will be the last in a fleet of 90 configured for cross-border operations, with the first 58 in use  between Germany and the Netherlands. The latest tranche will also meet homologation criteria for operation in Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Austria.


DB opts for first ever ERTMS Level 2 installation

Deutsche Bahn’s first ever installation of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) Level 2 is set to take place on the new 230km line from Ebensfeld via Erfurt to Halle and Leipzig in a contract worth EUR 93 million.

Siemens is equipping the route with interlockings and automatic train protection systems, while Kapsch is supplying the GSM-R system for communication between the radio block centre and the trains. The project will be commissioned in two phases between 2015 and 2017.

The route is part of German Unity Transport Project No. 8 (VDE8) which also includes the high-speed line from Nuremburg to Berlin – itself part of the Trans European Transport Network from Scandinavia to Italy.

The Froschgrundsee Viaduct is one of the signature structures on the new Ebensfeld-Erfurt railway, which will be Germany’s first ERTMS Level 2 installation. Its span is 270m. Credit: Deutsche Bahn AG/Frank Kniestedt.