March 08, 2018

DB inaugurates first digital interlocking

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The new control desk at Annaberg-Buchholz. The new control desk at Annaberg-Buchholz.

GERMAN Rail (DB) has inaugurated its first digital interlocking (DSTW) at Annaberg-Buchholz, on the Chemnitz - Cranzahl line in southeastern Germany.


The architecture for the new interlocking, which was supplied by Siemens, enables the signaller’s switching commands to be transmitted to the points, signals and lineside devices via network technology. This eliminates the need for long cable bundles to provide a connection to each interlocking element. It also means that signals and points can now be controlled at much greater distances than before by using a data line for the DSTW network contacts.

“The solution used in Annaberg-Buchholz is an important step towards interlockings in the cloud,” says Mr Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility Division. “For the first time ever, an interlocking transmits its IP-based commands to the system’s field elements such as points and signals. This allows completely new flexibility in planning, makes possible the use of intelligent field elements, and will generate positive cost effects over the longer term. And all this is achieved while meeting the strictest safety standards for operations.”

“Annaberg-Buchholz stands for one of the biggest technology projects in the history of DB,” says Mr Klaus Müller, CTO of DB Network. “Intelligent communication networks and their associated standardised and modularised technology are setting the trend for the coming years. They enable us to operate rail transport more economically, while saving resources and ensuring greater efficiency for our customers. The new interlocking technology is thus a milestone in the digitalisation of rail infrastructure and will be the basis for higher capacity and improved punctuality.”

The DSTW installation in Annaberg-Buchholz marks the start of the national implementation of a new generation of digital interlockings, which can be used on main lines with heavy traffic and major stations as well as for simpler applications in rural areas.

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