2018 Integrated Interim Report – Departure into a new era!

Events in the first half of 2018

Record capital expenditures in infrastructure

In 2018, 5.5 billion is available for building new rail infrastructure and maintaining the existing network. In the first half-year, we have already renewed 539 km of track, 712 switches and about 6,300 m² of bridges. In addition, 2.6 billion has been earmarked for more than 40 new construction and expansion projects. Across Germany, 12 major construction projects are starting. They are joined by 19 com­­­missioning projects.

Bundling in over 100 corridors and a professional construction management are indispensable for the large number of construction sites – up to 800 a day at peak times. By pooling the building sites, we can minimize the impacts on normal operation. In addition, theConstruction Management Centeris collaborating with the regional units on optimizing and improving the management of construction works. Moreover, we plan to employ about 2,000 new construction-related employees in 2018. These measures enabled us to further reduce the delays caused by construction works in the first half of 2018 de­­spite the larger number of building sites.

Emergency Management Manual approved

To enable better handling of major disruptions, the Chief Executive Officers of the railway companies operating in the Rhine-Alps rail freight transport corridor approved a joint Emergency Management Manual in May. The lead authors were the infrastructure operators (DB Netz AG and SBB Infrastruktur) and TOCs that were hardest hit by the temporary closure of the Rhine valley railway (Rheintalbahn). The Manual focuses on processes for better coordination and communication among infrastructure operators when international disruptions occur. In addition, the Manual describes how infrastructure operators define diversions and publish them, together with the relevant technical parameters. This enables TOCs to prepare for diversions and to act quickly in the event of a disruption.

Action plan for customer-friendly construction

In early June 2018, rail transport companies and associations submitted their “Round Table for Building Site Management” findings report to BMVI. The aim was to develop an action plan for more transport, improved quality and reliability in order to minimize the adverse effects on passengers and cargo customers wherever possible during the urgently needed modernization of the rail network. Four specific modules for improving construction management were agreed: agreements between the Federal Government and DB Netz AG on customer-oriented construction, an incentive system between DB Netz AG and TOCs, improved risk distribution between public transport authorities and TOCs, and the optimization of construction processes and communication.

Temporary closure of the Rhine valley railway–damage to the Rastatt tunnel

Following the damage in the east tunnel of the Rastatt tunnel, preparations to renovate the tunnel have been underway since March. At the same time, the mediation proceedings agreed between DB Group and ARGE Tunnel Rastatt are ongoing to clarify the cause of the damage during tunnel boring and thus who is responsible. A team of technical and legal experts is charged with investigating the causes and drafting a settlement proposal. Although originally ex­­pected to last six months, the process is taking longer as further investigations are needed to clarify the causes of the damage. To this end, a further drilling program will take place within the next three months. The mediation proceedings are expected to finish in early 2019.

DB Netz AG joins Orient/East — Med RFC

DB Netz AG has joined theŒOrient/East Med European Rail Freight Corridor (RFC) (www.rfc7.eu). The resulting cross-border transport axis stretches about 9,000 km from the North and Baltic Seas to the Aegean and Black Sea. The aim is to eliminate border hurdles and offer dependable and harmonized transport services, thus further strengthening rail freight transport beyond Europe’s borders.

Capital expenditures initiative for the Marsh railway

With disruptions continuing on the Marsh railway (Marsch­bahn), we are working on a modernization concept. The main focus is a capital expenditures initiative to bring forward capital expenditures. To achieve this, we are raising the volume of capital expenditures over the next four years from 53 million to nearly 160 million.

Progress with regard to new construction 

Hanau – Fulda planning is progressing

Plans for the new section of line between Gelnhausen and Fulda in the HanauWürzburg/Fulda expansion/new construction project have progressed: Line Variant IV is being included in the regional planning procedure as the preferred solution. Compared with all other variants, it will have the least impact overall on people and the environment and will shorten passengers’ travel time between Frankfurt and Fulda by 11 minutes. The additional tracks will also improve local transport services. The decision was preceded by intense discussions with the region that lasted several years. Our early and comprehensive involvement of the general public has been described as exemplary.

Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link – approval procedure

The Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link project is in the design and approval planning stage. The documents for plan approval section 6 have been submitted to the Federal Railway Authority. Applications for the remaining sections will be filed between now and early 2019. While the approval proceedings are ongoing, a report is being drafted for BMVI in preparation for the Bundestag’s discussion of the demands of the region. Construction of a new link across Fehmarn Sound is also planned in connection with the rail link to the Fehmarn Belt crossing. The decision in favor of a preferred variant will probably be made in the first quarter of 2019.

Progress on the second main S-Bahn (metro) line in Munich

Since April 2018, legally valid building permits have been available for all three plan approval sections for the second main line in Munich. At present, preparations for construction are ongoing in the Overground West section and at the central station. The main construction work will begin at the end of 2018. At Marienhof, preparations for construction have finished and archaeological post-studies are currently being conducted prior to main construction commencing.

Developments on expansion project 38 Munich – Mühldorf – Freilassing

The three-track expansion between Freilassing and Salzburg was completed in December 2017. Preliminary planning of the two-track expansion between Markt Schwaben and Ampfing has been completed, as has the electrification.

Expansion of the Cologne hub

To relieve the heavily frequented Cologne hub, 15 infrastructure measures are planned. At present, the S 11 proj­ect with its core package of expansion measures between Cologne central station and Bergisch Gladbach is at the preliminary planning phase. Expansion of the S 13 from Troisdorf to Bonn-Oberkassel is on schedule, including the initial bridge works. Regarding long-distance, the expansion south of Gummersbacher Strasse is in the design and ap­­proval planning stage. Of the ABS 4 project, plan approval section 1 is in the execution phase and section 2 is in the design and approval planning stage.

Progress on the Knappenrode ‒ Horka ‒ German/Polish border expansion line

Recommissioning of the line between Knappenrode and the German/Polish border is planned for December. The main construction work in the section from Niesky to Horka was completed in December 2017. Since then, the structural engineering has been put in place, the embankment has been made fit for purpose, and the overhead wiring and signal technology have been newly installed. New platforms for regional transport are being built at Niesky station. 

Relocation of the Hamburg-Altona long-distance train station

The existing terminal station at Altona will be replaced by a new station at the Diebsteich site. The current S-Bahn (metro) station in Altona will remain. The project is being financed primarily through the LuFV, from DB funds and from the proceeds from the sale of land to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The plan approval decision was issued on December 29, 2017. Three cases are currently pending against the Federal Railway Authority’s plan approval decision before Hamburg’s Higher Administrative Court. A decision is expected in July. Main construction work is scheduled to start in fall 2018.

Construction of new S4 S-Bahn (metro) line from Hamburg to Bad Oldesloe

The S4 is being planned to strengthen local transport between Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. The draft plans for plan approval section 1 have been completed. The two other sections are still works in progress. The plan approval procedure hearing for plan approval section 1 has taken place, while publication of the plan approval documentation for sections 2 and 3 is scheduled to take place before the end of 2018. Initial construction work is slated for 2020.

Development of the Frankfurt hub

The Frankfurt am Main hub is one of the most heavily frequented in our network. To ensure rail transport is made fit for the future, we are revamping the Stadium hub, building two tracks on the Homburg embankment, connecting Gate­­way Gardens to the metro network, expanding the S6 S-Bahn (metro) and building an S-Bahn (metro) line on the northern side of the Main river. Work on the crossing at the Homburg embankment has commenced. Along the S6, work is ongoing to expand the line between Frankfurt West and Bad Vilbel to four tracks.

Progress on expansion project 46/2 Emmerich – Oberhausen

Construction work on expansion project 46/2 Emmerich –Oberhausen is progressing on schedule. The hearings for all outstanding plan approval sections have taken place. Building permits for further plan approval sections are expected to be issued before the end of 2018.

Developments on the Rhine-Ruhr-Express

Agreement governing the funding of the electronic interlocking at Düsseldorf is expected to be reached with the Federal Government over the course of the next 12 months. Objections have been received to plan approval section 2.1, Düsseldorf, and the hearings are expected to be set for 2018. Planning of phase 2 in Düsseldorf-Reisholz has commenced with the inclusion of Düsseldorf-Benrath as a stop in the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan. Construction work on plan approval section 4.0, Mülheim, has begun.

Digitalization and innovation

Progress in standardizing maintenance

Within the framework of the standardization of production system maintenance (Standardisierung Produktionssystem Instandhaltung; SPI), the scheduling and feedback process of operational maintenance has been standardized and
digitalized. The rollout of level 1 has been completed as scheduled. Level 2 commenced in 2018 as part of the OPEX program. It focuses predominantly on shop floor-oriented performance management based on feedback from operations staff. The third wave of rollouts is currently taking place at seven sites. Nine sites are already working in accordance with the new standard. As part of level 2, workflows and work preparation and execution processes will be further standardized. The IT tools developed for this purpose are currently undergoing trials. The nationwide rollout of both approaches will probably be completed around mid-2020.

First digital interlocking commences operation

Europe’s first digital interlocking commenced operation in January in Annaberg-Buchholz on the Ore Mountain Railway (Erzgebirgsbahn). This pre-series project heralds a revolution in command and control technology. The digital interlocking marks the start of the further development and nationwide implementation of a new and innovative generation of interlockings. The technology can be used both to operate main lines with tight schedules and major hub stations, and for simpler applications in rural areas.

Rollout of drive-related switch diagnostics

In order to optimize the availability of switches, a digital remote diagnostic system is used to detect potential faults before they can occur. The DIANA diagnostics platform can be used for preventive maintenance to remedy faults. This should make it possible to reduce drive-related switch defects by up to 50%. Some 18,400 switches are connected to DIANA