France-based Alstom has been selected for the deployment of digital interlocking technology on the Lichtenfels-Coburg-Sonneberg line section in Thuringia and Bavaria, Germany.

To be deployed by Alstom on behalf of DB Netz, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn (DB), the technology will facilitate DB’s Digitale Schiene Deutschland programme.

This technology will help to digitally channel rail control information, enhance the line’s passenger capacity and dependability, as well as reduce CO₂ emissions.

The company will replace the current interlockings on the Lichtenfels-Coburg-Sonneberg section with the digital interlocking solution by the end of 2023.

Following the installation, the control commands will be sent via a fibre-optic cable and data network for controlling the components that monitor switches, vacancy signals and other information.

The company claimed that the new solution will minimise the disruption of the system while meeting the modern communications requirements.

Alstom Germany, Austria and Switzerland digital and integrated systems head Michael Konias said: “For Alstom, it is another special milestone to be involved in the digital revolution of the German rail network. We are committed to serving Deutsche Bahn with the latest standards in digital trackside equipment, making rail more reliable, more efficient and fit for a sustainable future in Europe.”

DB Germany digital rail head Dr Kristian Weiland said: “We are now in turbo-mode with Digitale Schiene Deutschland. This year, together with our partner Alstom, we will start digitalising our interlocking in Coburg where rail passengers will benefit from a larger and more reliable rail service.”

The project will focus on the development of an even operating system with standardised interfaces between digital interlockings and European Train Control (ETCS).

For the successful execution, Alstom and DB Netz are also planning to streamline and accelerate procedures within the project.

DB is working towards digitalising its interlockings and railway network by 2035.

Furthermore, the German Government will provide nearly $589.08m (€500m) for the execution of the project on seven regional lines under a coronavirus stimulus package.

This week, Alstom announced that it will supply 14 more high-power locomotives to Indian Railways from its Madhepura locomotive plant in the state of Bihar by the end of this month.