Corridor Rhine-Alpine: new ESTW Bühl (Copyright: DB InfraGO AG) Corridor Rhine-Alpine: new ESTW Bühl (Copyright: DB InfraGO AG)

Another milestone in the digitalization of the corridor Rhine-Alpine has been reached: the ESTW Bühl has successfully gone into operation

There is reason to celebrate today, Monday, May 13, 2024, as another milestone in the project corridor Rhine-Alpine has been reached: the commissioning of the modern electronic interlocking (ESTW: Elektronisches Stellwerk) Bühl in Baden-Württemberg and the associated replacement of the previous relay interlocking. The ESTW Bühl is the seventh of its kind on the section of line between Karlsruhe and Basel and plays a central role in controlling train traffic along the Rhine Valley Railway between the Sinzheim stop and Ottersweier station. At Bühl station, there is also a connection to the Bühl - Greffern line operated by Südwestdeutsche Eisenbahn GmbH (SWEG).


DB invested an amount in the mid double-digit million range to realize the modern ESTW with the support of the federal government. In addition to the construction of the two-storey modular building at Bühl station, the construction work included the laying of around 130 km of cable and the renewal of 82 signals and 23 point machines. The work was successfully completed in less than one and a half years. The commissioning phase was a real innovation: by splitting the commissioning of the two lines 4280 and 4000, longer full closures over a period of 7 days could be avoided. The necessary closures were limited to defined time windows between May 9, 9 p.m. and May 13, 5 a.m. and separated by route.


The two ESTW in Baden-Baden and Rastatt-Süd are due to go into operation this summer. Three more will follow by the beginning of 2026.


The digitalization of the interlockings is a prerequisite for the introduction of the European Train Control System (ETCS), which is to be successively implemented along the entire corridor according to EU specifications.


The corridor Rhine-Alpine is an important transport artery in Europe, linking major economic areas and seaports. Its German section, from Oberhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia to Haltingen in Baden-Württemberg, stretches for around 1,600 kilometers. In the project corridor Rhine-Alpine of Digitale Schiene Deutschland (DSD), this section is being equipped with modern interlocking technology and ETCS, making this one of the largest DSD projects.


Click here for the official press release.