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DB and Siemens Mobility: Digital S-Bahn in Hamburg wins the German Mobility Award

DB and Siemens Mobility: Digital S-Bahn in Hamburg wins the German Mobility Award
photo: Siemens Mobility/Siemens Mobility
10 / 06 / 2021

This year, the German Mobility Award goes to the Digital S-Bahn Hamburg. The team from Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility is putting Germany’s first fully automated railway in service. In cooperation with the city of Hamburg, four Hamburg S-Bahn trains operating with passengers will be digitally controlled during the ITS Congress in October. The advantage of the new technology, which has been under development since 2018: More trains can operate on existing rail lines with higher reliability and lower energy consumption.

Ronald Pofalla, CEO Infrastructure at DB: “We can help alleviate the climate change only by providing reliable, convenient, and comfortable rail services. This is exactly what we are doing with the digitization of the Hamburg S-Bahn: We are making rail travel better for our passengers. I’m really pleased that this project has been honored with the German Mobility Award, and I congratulate the team on their impressive commitment and innovative spirit. The new technology marks yet another milestone for digital rail in Germany and is a decisive move for step change in mobility.” 

Dr. Anjes Tjarks, Hamburg Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition: “Hamburg is actively promoting future rail transport by introducing innovative technologies in the pilot Digital S-Bahn project. The technology provides a solution that will enable the city’s S-Bahn network to grow. Over the long term, we want to equip the entire Hamburg S-Bahn system with this technology. The Senate is already investing €400 million in new trains that are being delivered with the new digital technology. My warmest congratulations to the team for their impressive work.” 


Michael Peter, CEO Siemens Mobility: “I’m really pleased that the Hamburg Digital S-Bahn has been honored with the German Mobility Award. By conducting successful, highly automated test operations in the European Train Control System (ATO via ETCS) in Hamburg, we have reached an important milestone in the digitization of Germany’s rail transport in record time. Automated rail operation enables significantly higher operating frequencies and thus passenger capacity, improves the stability of timetable scheduling, and ensures lower energy consumption by optimizing driving profiles. With this project, Hamburg is a pioneer for digitized operation in Germany’s mass transit and mainline rail transport.” 

The project will demonstrate digitized train operation on a 23-kilometer route in Hamburg’s S-Bahn network. The first test runs have already been successful. The highly automated system is based on the future European ATO standard operating with the Europe-wide European Train Control System (ETCS). Train crews monitor operations. The project costs of €60 million are being shared by the city of Hamburg, Siemens Mobility and Deutsche Bahn.