GERMAN Rail (DB) has awarded Thales a €127m contract to deliver packages 1 and 2 for the Digital Node Stuttgart project, announced in August 2020, as part of the wider Digital Rail Germany programme. 

The contract covers the installation of ETCS Level 2, preliminary work for the implementation of the track-side systems for automatic operation at GoA2, a Capacity and Traffic Management System (CTMS), an operating control centre, more than 6000 electronic balises and 1300 axle counters, and around 650 switch machines. 

ETCS will cover more than 100km of the network, including the new Stuttgart main station being constructed as part of the Stuttgart 21 project, and will control long-distance, regional and S-Bahn services from 2025. The project will serve as a trial ahead of the rollout of ETCS across the full German network, which is expected to be completed by 2035. 

The Digital Node Stuttgart project will also allow the Stuttgart S-Bahn to operate with 30m-long blocks, the shortest ever implemented in Germany. This will increase capacity, reduce delays and enable quicker recovery from disruptions. 

“The first digital node in Germany is going to be the reference point for other metropolitan regions throughout Europe for years to come,” says Mr Oliver Dörre, CEO and country director for Thales Germany. “We are very familiar with the Stuttgart node from earlier projects and now look forward to actively cooperating with our customer at the highest level of technology in the improvement of the offering for rail passengers.”