Current rollout plan of Digitale Schiene Deutschland
The basis for Digitale Schiene Deutschland is set with the fundamental modernization and digitization of the infrastructure: The national rollout of the European Train Control System (ETCS) and new digital interlockings (DSTW) will set the course for the future of the German rail network. Both technologies are central elements for the rail digitization. They will help ensure that rail traffic in Germany remains at the highest level in the future.
Focus on high-performance network corridors and starter package
Deutsche Bahn's rail network covers 33,000 km and requires extensive modernization to cope with current and future traffic volumes. For the rollout of Digitale Schiene Deutschland, the DB has defined a portfolio that maps all necessary scenarios and pursues a strategic goal. This portfolio will be updated and adjusted step by step in line with the overall architecture of the digital rail system. Goal here is a quick start of the implementation of DSD with available technology. At the same time, new technologies will be developed to achieve the full effectiveness of the measures.
The start of Digital Rail Germany is marked by the Starter Package and the High-Speed Program (SLP). Modernization and acceleration initiatives of the high-capacity network corridors are also added and focused on by the federal government and the DB. Some of them are located on the major European rail corridors (TEN corridors). In the fast-track program (SLP), it was possible to implement modern and digital interlocking elements in the network within a very short time. Thereby valuable knowledge was gained for a accelerated realization of digitization projects and development of technologies in the rail sector. The implementation of the starter package will be driven forward at full speed. Essential parts of this package are the Scandinavian-Mediterranean transport corridor (ScanMed), the Digital Node Stuttgart (DKS), and the high-speed rail corridor between Cologne and Frankfurt. The Digital Node Stuttgart marks the start of the program. Around 125 kilometers of track in the center of Stuttgarts transport network and several hundred trains will be digitalized by 2025. Other parts of the region and remaining trains will follow by 2023
Concrete rollout planning until 2030 and beyond
By 2028, the start configuration should be in implementet with available and reliable technology. This ensures quality, interoperability and the replacement of obsolete technology. At the same time, standardised equipment will be established. The initial configuration contains ESTW plus ETCS Level 2 with signals on the high-performance network corridors, elsewhere DSTW will be installed. From 2028, the target configuration DSD Level 1+ will be implemented. The technical equipment includes ETCS Level 2 without signals, DSTW and ATO GoA2. The equipment configurations have a positive impact on capacity.
The second stage DSD technologies is expected for the year 2030 and following. In addition to the further development of ETCS-based train protection, the introduction of an intelligent capacity and traffic management system (CTMS) with moving blocks ist planned for full automatic train operation. CTMS could take over the control of GoA2 operating vehicles in the first stages of expansion. CTMS will also be able to transmit route requests to a DSTW.
The first pilot projects for fully automated driving have already started. As a first step, the fully automatic allocation of trains to the EBO track will be realised. On this basis the next approval fundamentals could be set. As part of the European Commission's "Europ's Rail" programme, the ETCS train control system will advanced. The new system is called "Advanced Digital Infrastructure" and aims to provide train-centric protection of train movements while being compatible with ETCS. All these products still hold numerous development risks for use in the mainline system with mixed traffic by conventional vehicles. A concrete realisation plan has not been made yet. First subsystems should be made available from 2030.