The hub, which is scheduled to open in 2025, will equip all stations and around 100km of track in the Stuttgart metropolitan area with digital signalling, ETCS control systems and high-grade ATO systems.

The hub will be delivered through funding from the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) under a new framework financing agreement signed following the announcement on August 26.

The Stuttgart project is one of three pilot projects in the Starter Package Digital Rail Germany scheme, which promotes the rollout of digital technology on railways in the country. The other projects involve the Cologne - Frankfurt Rhine-Main high-speed line and the TEN-T Scandinavia-Mediterranean corridor.

It is hoped that the introduction of the new technology will increase network capacity and efficiency.

“The new Stuttgart rail hub is a milestone for the German cycle and for the region,” says DB board member for infrastructure, Mr Ronald Pofalla. “On the main S-Bahn route alone, we will be 20% more efficient. Stuttgart will be one of the first major digitised rail hubs worldwide.”