Fit for the future: modernisation of the Wörth-Germersheim-Speyer line has begun
Preparatory works began 19 April • Construction begins 10 May
On 19 April, Deutsche Bahn (DB) started works to make the Wörth-Germersheim-Speyer line fit for the digital future. By late summer 2022, the old signal boxes in Speyer, Germersheim, Wörth, Philippsburg and Rülzheim will be modernised or replaced, and 40 level crossings will be upgraded or renewed.
Modern signalling technology makes rail networks more reliable. This project will enable better train scheduling through continuous operation from the central electronic signal box (Elektronisches Stellwerk: ESTW) in Germersheim. In addition, it will create more travel options in stations during both regular service and construction works, while reducing maintenance effort.
The preliminary works include surveying, ground investigation, building the construction site and underground cabling works – all taking place without affecting ongoing rail traffic. When construction begins on 10 May, work will take place during night-time closures and at weekends. Residents and passengers will be given adequate notice of any disruption. 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.
In addition to the latest signal box technology, a total of 311 signals on the track and 105 points will be renewed within a short time period. Two new signal booms will be installed. Of the 40 level crossings, 20 will be completely renewed – the other 20 will be upgraded to the new technology.
The federal government has provided €500 million for modern signal box technology – from the economic stimulus package to combat the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Within a short time period, existing signal boxes and level-crossing safety technology in seven regions will be modernised with digital signal box technology. In close cooperation with the industry, processes are currently being optimised and standards established to significantly accelerate project handling.
Thanks to this ambitious project, Digitale Schiene Deutschland (DSD) is creating industrial jobs and supporting medium-sized companies in Germany. Digitalisation also transforms public transport and helps protect the environment. Train passengers are already travelling largely CO2-free. But with smart, digital signal boxes and the European Train Control System (ETCS) offering Europe-wide standardisation, 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.