Digitalization at record speed: Modernized Finnentrop interlocking successfully commissioned

Jun 1, 2022

Travelers benefit from greater reliability – project commissioned after only 18 months

Digital Rail Germany is moving forward. Deutsche Bahn (DB) has just inaugurated the completely renewed signaling and interlocking technology on the Ruhr-Sieg line between Letmathe and Kreuztal. The new state-of-the-art digital technology makes the rail network more robust and reliable while enabling better control and greater flexibility of trains. Maintenance of the rail line will also take less work and be easier. The inauguration marks the first commissioning of a project in the federal government’s €500-million Fast-track Program.

“The digitalization of rail is gaining speed. Thanks to the close collaboration between the federal government, DB and industry, were inaugurating the expanded and modernized Finnentrop interlocking after just 18 months of work. Together we are creating a new rail network for Germany – with higher capacity and greater reliability. This way, we’ll be able to offer our customers more environmentally friendly trains and thus actively protect the environment,” said Jens Bergmann, Board Member for Infrastructure Planning and Projects at DB Netz AG.

“By introducing digital interlocking technology, we are reducing service disruptions and creating the basis for rail automation and expanded rail mobility. Passengers, freight and the environment all profit from this,” said Andre Rodenbeck, CEO Rail Infrastructure at Siemens Mobility. “The example of Finnentrop shows that we are ready and able to quickly and successfully digitalize Germany’s rail network together with Deutsche Bahn.”

The three interlockings in Nachrodt, Plettenberg and Altenhundem – all between 30 and 50 years old – were replaced with modern technology. The three newly installed modules in Altena, Plettenberg and Altenhundem are connected to the central Finnentrop interlocking that now centrally controls the entire route.
On behalf of DB and as general contractor for the project, Siemens Mobility GmbH modernized the line’s signaling and interlocking technology in record time together with LEONHARD WEISS GmbH & Co. KG. A total of 385 kilometers of cable were laid on 45 kilometers of the line between Letmathe and Kreuztal; 235 signals and 73 point machines were renewed; and nine new signal arms were installed. In addition, four level crossings were renewed or replaced, and eleven level crossings were adapted to the new technology.

Additional background information:

As part of the so-called Fast-Track Program, the federal government has earmarked €500 million for modern interlocking technology from the economic stimulus program initiated to combat the consequences of the corona pandemic. Within a very short time, existing interlocking and level crossing safety technology will be modernized with digital interlocking components in a total of seven projects. In close cooperation with the rail industry, processes are being improved and standards established to significantly accelerate execution of the projects.

Digital Rail Germany is creating industrial jobs and supporting medium-sized companies based in Germany. Digitalization is contributing to the country’s transportation transition and helping protect the climate. Today’s rail users are already traveling largely CO₂-free. Digitalization is revolutionizing sustainable rail transport by ensuring shorter travel times, briefer waiting times, and more precise customer information.

Siemens Mobility is one of the world’s leading companies in the field of rail infrastructure digitalization and operates the world’s largest plant for rail automation technology in Braunschweig, Germany. The company has completed important pioneering projects with digital interlockings in Annaberg-Buchholz and Warnemünde. By 2034, Siemens Mobility will have digitalized Norway’s entire rail network with around 4,200 kilometers of track and 375 stations.

You can find additional information about Digital Rail Germany at: www.digitale-schiene-deutschland.de

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About SIEMENS
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, transport, and healthcare. From more resource-efficient factories, resilient supply chains, and smarter buildings and grids, to cleaner and more comfortable transportation as well as advanced healthcare, the company creates technology with purpose adding real value for customers.