Henrik Falk, CEO of HOCHBAHN, commented: “For the
mobility transition, we need powerful and reliable systems that create real
customer benefits. Through the U-Bahn100 project, we’re creating a service for
our passengers that is simply unbeatable: a subway train every 100 seconds – on
time, reliable, environmentally friendly, and effectively available at all
“This project is an important milestone on the road to
transforming mobility in Hamburg. In the future, trains on the U2 and U4 lines
will be able to run every 100 seconds,” said Andre Rodenbeck, CEO for Rail
Infrastructure at Siemens Mobility. “Siemens and Hamburger Hochbahn have a
long history together, and we’re extremely proud to be able to implement our
innovation here in Hamburg. Our technology combines greater track capacity,
maximum availability, and lower energy requirements with the highest possible
level of safety.”
What is being upgraded?
Siemens Mobility will supply and
install its digital Trainguard MT CBTC solution for the conventional Sicas ECC
interlockings currently in service on the two subway lines. In addition, the
company is also supplying the relevant technology that needs to be installed in
the subway cars. Trainguard MT will then be available on the U2 line between
the Christuskirche and Mümmelmannsberg stations and on the entire U4 line.
Siemens Mobility’s Trainguard MT is the most widely deployed train control
system in the world. It is used by numerous operators around the globe,
including in Paris, Beijing, New York, London, Hong Kong, and Buenos Aires.
What is communication-based train control?
Communication-based train control,
or CBTC, for short, refers to a complex system of digital signals and messages
that vehicles and the line itself permanently exchange with each other in real
time. Various components along the line and in the vehicles make this
radio-based, bidirectional data communication between the train and the
infrastructure possible, in which track information is wirelessly transmitted
to the trains.
What are the
benefits of digital train control?
Digital train control increases the capacity of the subway lines,
especially in tunnels. The key aspect driving such modernization is ultimately
the expansion of services – i.e., more trains on the track and at shorter
intervals, both of which play an essential role in the transformation of the
mobility system, including the switch from cars to public transportation. This
is because a CBTC system allows rail vehicles to operate at actual braking
distance intervals rather than on the basis of predefined block section
lengths, as has previously been the case. This will enable shorter train
sequences, increasing transport capacity by more than 20 percent – without the
need for expensive track and tunnel widening or the construction of completely
new tracks altogether.
The state-of-the-art, high-performance train control technology doesn’t
just allow more trains to use the track, however, but also enhances the
accuracy and reliability of the schedule. Furthermore, it makes subway
operation more energy-efficient – with savings of up to 20 percent possible –
and improves passenger comfort through smoother acceleration and braking.
All in all, communication-based train control will increase the capacity
and overall attractiveness of the subway system, thereby increasing rail-based
public transit’s total share of urban transport. This, in turn, will directly
contribute to a reduction in harmful exhaust emissions, thereby improving the
city’s air quality.