2021/03/31

Expansion and modernisation of Finnentrop signal box begins


Preliminary work has started • Impact on customers being coordinated
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has begun preparations to replace the 30- to 50-year-old old signal boxes in Altenhundem/Meggen, Plettenberg and Nachrodt/Altena with modern signal box technology, over a distance of around 35kms. From summer 2022, the entire section of the Ruhr-Sieg line from Letmathe to Kreuztal will be controlled from the electronic signal box (ESTW) in Finnentrop, which will be upgraded.
Modern signalling technology makes the rail network more reliable. It will enable, among other things, improved train scheduling through the continuous operation of the ESTW in Finnentrop, increased transport possibilities in stations during regular operations and construction works, as well as reduced maintenance. Retrofitting a modern signalling system on the opposite track also enables simpler bypassing during construction works requiring single-track operations, with corresponding time savings.
For this project, cabling work will need to be carried out along around 35 kms of track. Two hundred and thirty-five signals and 73 switches will be renewed. Nine new signalling gantries will be installed. In addition, four level crossings will be renewed or replaced, while 11 will be upgraded to the new technology.
Initial preparatory work in Altenhundem, Meggen and Plettenberg stations has already begun. Because of the extent of the work involved, there are likely to be extensive closures throughout the year. These are currently being coordinated with the affected rail operators, such as Abellio and the local transport authority, Nahverkehr Westfalen-Lippe (NWL).
Unfortunately, even with the use of cutting-edge equipment, there will still be some construction noise. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and ask for your understanding.
 
Background:
As communicated in a press release on 10 March, 2021: in early December 2020, the German federal government provided €500m for modern signal box technology in a financing agreement between the federal government and the railways – from the economic stimulus package to combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The digitalisation of the rail network creates industrial jobs and supports medium-sized businesses in Germany. Digitalisation transforms public transport and helps protect the environment. Train passengers are already travelling largely CO2-free. But with smart, digital signal boxes, more trains can be used on the same routes. Digitalisation is revolutionising sustainable rail transport: with shorter travel and waiting times and more accurate customer information. Intelligent tracks raise an alarm before anything breaks: so disruption is avoided and train traffic can continue as planned. Digital signal boxes form the basis for equipping the network with the standardised European Train Control System (ETCS).