HomeReferencesVDE 8 – German Unity Transport Project 8: Equipment for electronic signal box / ETCS

VDE 8 – German Unity Transport Project 8: Equipment for electronic signal box / ETCS

2012 - 2019, Siemens AG

The new line between Ebensfeld – Erfurt (VDE 8.1, line length 107 km, commissioned in 2017) and the new line between Erfurt – Leipzig/Halle (VDE 8.2, line length 123 km, commissioned in 2015) represented the closure of the gap in the complex VDE 8 Berlin – Munich transport project, and is also the key section of No. 1 of the Trans-European high-speed rail network (TEN-R) between Berlin and Palermo. The route includes a total of 37 bridges and 27 tunnels, particularly in the Thuringian Forest area.

VDE 8 is designed as an HGV line enabling a maximum speed of 300 km/h.

As part of the technical signalling equipment, electronic SIMIS D signal boxes (made by Siemens AG) were used in conjunction with the European Train Control System ETCS Level 2.

The use of ETCS Level 2 without fixed signals was undertaken for the first time as a pilot project in Germany.

Two new electronic signal box sub-master stations in Erfurt and Unterleiterbach and 5 RBC (Radio Block Centres) were built for the key ETCS components. The line is controlled by the operations control centres in Leipzig (Erfurt sub-master station) and Munich (Unterleiterbach sub-master station).

Given that many components and subsystem were used for the first time, a trial and test phase lasting 12 months was stipulated for each VDE 8.1 and VDE 8.2 section.

The project is identified by way of the following characteristics:

  • The specifications and regulations were developed by DB AG in parallel to the planning and completion of construction.
  • The new VV NTZ (“New type approval”) issued by the Federal Railway Authority was used for the first time to approve new components and systems.
  • Plans were put in place to prohibit tunnel access for the double-track tunnel on VDE 8.1.
  • The VDE 8.2 section was initially built with ETCS L2 based on the Baseline 2 specification and commissioned in 2015. The upgrade to Baseline 3 happened at the same time as the commissioning of VDE 8.1 in 2017

SIGNON Deutschland GmbH was commissioned by Siemens AG to undertake the planning and plan verification for the technical signalling implementation planning for the PT 1 electronic signal box and ETCS. TÜV SÜD Rail GmbH was added as a subcontractor for the plan verification.
Other services provided by SIGNON included the operational hazard analysis for the DB Baseline 3 specification as well as surveying services.