Digital modernisation at record speed on the Lower Rhine: second construction phase for new interlockings between Geldern and Kempen begins on 25 June 2022

It’s time to roll up the sleeves as the second phase of the Kleve-Kempen Fast-track Programme begins on 25 June, 2022. By the end of November, Deutsche Bahn (DB) aim to fully modernise the signalling and interlocking technology in this area. DB and NordWestBahn inform about the construction work in Kevelaer and give insights to the already modernised interlocking of the town.

Digitale Schiene Deutschland is making its debut in the Lower Rhine pilgrim town of Kevelaer. As part of the ‘Fast-track Programme’ (Schnellläuferprogramm: SLP), signalling and interlocking technology on the Kleve-Kempen line is being modernised in two construction phases.


The first construction phase was completed on 4 December, 2021, 351 days after the order was placed. DB dispatchers can now control trains digitally between Kleve and Geldern, using the latest signalling and interlocking technology.

The second construction phase begins on 25 June, 2022: from Geldern to Kempen. Six technical modules of electronic interlockings (Elektronische Stellwerke: ESTW) technology modules will control trains along this section of track. DB will also lay 100 km of cable, add 110 signals and renew 12 point machines. In addition, 48 level crossings will either be upgraded or completely renewed and tracks and points will be renewed.


To minimise the impact of this project on passengers, the different construction stages are being planned carefully. The entire line is scheduled to go into operation by the end of November.

Second construction phase from Geldern to Kempen Second construction phase from Geldern to Kempen
Second construction phase from Geldern to Kempen

All this will enable better control and more flexible running options for trains, and make maintenance of the line easier and train services more reliable. This in turn will benefit the many passengers and commuters travelling daily between the Lower Rhine and Rhine/Ruhr metropolitan regions.


From 31 May, 2022, DB and NordWestBahn displayed public information in Kevelaer about the upcoming construction, detailing how it will affect passengers. Representatives of both organisations responded to press questions in the coffee roastery “Kaffeehimmel”.


A modern workstation replaces levers

A highlight was the tour of the new control station in Kevelaer. The station, complete with large monitor screens, is located opposite the interlocking building. From here, dispatchers control the track at the click of a mouse. The new interlocking module lies next to the interlocking building. Inside are countless cables, computers and LED lights. Six more such technical modules will form part of the second construction phase.


🡪 See the DB press release, 31 May, 2022 (in German only)

🡪 Learn about the Fast-track Programme