Hitachi enters German interlocking market

digital interlocking Hitachi Rail’s digital interlocking solution passed successfully on the functional and operational tests and has met German specifications and standards. Deutsche Bahn and the German Federal Railway Authority witnessed the test campaign which confirmed that the technology was compatible with German SCI (Standard Communication Interfaces) which interface between the interlocking and operations control centre.

Following this achievement, Hitachi can partner Deutsche Bahn in its plan to modernise the signalling equipment of the entire network with Digital Interlocking and ETCS, over the next two decades, as part of the “Digitale Schiene Deutschland” (Digital Rail Germany) programme.

This is a major step towards Hitachi Rail entering the German interlocking market and is also an important move for Germany’s Fast-Track Programme (known as Schnellläuferprogramm – SPL) whose objective is to bring new digital solutions to the market in a very short time by simplifying processes and promoting close cooperation between supplier and operator throughout the project. The Fast-Track Programme is an initiative of the German federal government, the rail industry and Deutsche Bahn.

“With the SLP, we want to achieve a market expansion with higher capacities and to gather valuable knowledge for the rollout of ‘Digitale Schiene Deutschland’. With Hitachi Rail we have found a new partner for our programme to digitalise the German railway network,” Frank Gülicher, the Head of Digital Signalling and ETCS Project Portfolio at DB Netz said.

Hitachi Rail is specifically responsible for renewing and upgrading the signalling on the Gera- Weischlitz line in Saxony, which includes seven stations across 60 km of single track.

The digital interlocking systems are a key enabler in the transition towards the digitalisation of the rail transport. By fitting the digital interlocking technology to the SLP Gera-Weischlitz line, Hitachi Rail’s team in Germany will help its client to improve operational efficiency and reliability by reducing traffic disruption and delays for passengers and freight traffic based on the extremely high level of requirements in safety and availability at DB.

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