From January 2020, Digital Rail Germany (DSD) will be responsible for planning and implementing the rollout of digital technologies across the country, including digital interlockings and ETCS onboard and trackside systems. DB expects these technologies to increase the capacity of the network by up to 35%.

DSD’s work will begin with the rollout of ETCS through three so-called starter packages:

  • TEN-T Scandinavia - Mediterranean corridor (Rostock - Berlin - Leipzig/Dresden - Nuremberg - Munich - Austria)
  • Cologne - Frankfurt high-speed line, and
  • Stuttgart S-Bahn network.

DB will spend €570m on the three starter packages by 2023. According to a feasibility study by the federal government, an investment of €4.7bn will be required to deliver the overall digital railway programme, which will equip around 80% of the network by 2030.

DSD will be responsible for coordinating the rollout of onboard ETCS and DB is currently discussing with the federal government how this can be financed.

DB has already awarded Alstom a contract to equip 17 class 407 ICE high-speed trains with ETCS Level 2 and this is due to be completed by 2022.