Automated excellence: Digital S-Bahn Hamburg wins German Mobility Award
First automated railroad in Germany • Benefits for passengers: technology brings greater capacity and reliability, and improved energy balance • "Decisive step for the mobility revolution"
This year the German Mobility Award went to the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg project. The team from Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility is working to put Germany's first automated railways on the tracks. In cooperation with the City of Hamburg, four Hamburg S-Bahn trains with passengers on board will be digitally controlled for the ITS Congress in October. The advantages of the technology, newly developed since 2018: more trains on existing tracks, increased reliability and lower energy consumption.
According to Ronald Pofalla, Board Member for Infrastructure at Deutsche Bahn (DB): “Climate change can only be achieved with reliable and convenient rail services. This is exactly what we are achieving with the digitalisation of Hamburg S-Bahn: we are making train travel better for our passengers. I am delighted that the project has been awarded the German Mobility Award and congratulate the team on its impressive commitment and innovative spirit. The new technology is another milestone for Digitale Schiene Deutschland and a decisive step for the mobility transition."
Dr. Anjes Tjarks, Hamburg Senator for Transport and Mobility, said: “With the digital S-Bahn pilot project, Hamburg is actively promoting future rail traffic by introducing innovative technology. This technology enables growth in the S-Bahn network. In the long term, we want to equip the entire Hamburg S-Bahn network with this technology. The Senate is already investing €400 million in equipping new trains with digital technology. Congratulations to the team for this fantastic performance."
Michael Peter, CEO of Siemens Mobility, said: “I am delighted about this prestigious award for the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg project. With the successful highly automated test drives using the European train control system (ATO via ETCS) in Hamburg, we have reached a significant milestone in the digitalisation of German rail traffic – in record time. Automated rail operation enables a significantly higher frequency of trains and thus an expansion of capacity, as well as improved reliability of timetables and lower energy consumption through optimised driving profiles. Hamburg is thus a pioneer for digitalised operations in German local and long-distance transport."
The project will demonstrate the digital train journey on a 23km stretch of the Hamburg S-Bahn network. The first test drives have already been successful. The basis of the highly automated operation (ATO) is the future European standard ATO via the Europe-wide uniform train control system (ETCS). The train crew monitors the journey. The city of Hamburg, Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn are sharing the project costs of €60 million.