"Specialist expertise and a methodical approach are essential for maximum project and planning security."

Dr.-Ing. Albrecht Achilles

Dr.-Ing. Albrecht Achilles

Member of the Executive Board, Head of ATO/ TMS

  • Many years of interdisciplinary expertise in the field of control and safety technology and operations
  • High level technological expertise in the areas of ATO, (C)TMS, ETCS and SCWS
  • Very methodical, structured approach, also using semi-formal and agile methods
Contact Dr.-Ing. Albrecht Achilles at the Berlin

Dr Albrecht Achilles is a member of the Executive Board and Head of ATO/TMS at NEXTRAIL GmbH. His broad specialist expertise is based on many years of experience as a technical consultant for control and safety technology, both on the operator and on the manufacturer side. Dr Albrecht Achilles focuses on the technical area of the European Train Control System (ETCS), automatic train operation (ATO), (capacity) traffic management systems (C)TMS and signalling controlled warning systems (SCWS) throughout the entire process – from conception, operational coordination, specification and integration to commissioning.




He is distinguished by his methodical and structured approach, as well as the use of semi-formal and agile methods. As a team leader, he is also part of a highly motivated team of experts in the areas mentioned.




He completed his doctorate on railway and business administration at TU Braunschweig in cooperation with Siemens Transportation Systems AG in February 2009. The dissertation deals with digital migration in the railway environment using the example of the ETCS.


Prior to that, he studied automation and electrical engineering at TU Ilmenau (graduate degree in industrial engineering). He also studied economics at Tongji University in Shanghai.

Personal project references for Dr.-Ing. Albrecht Achilles

ATO in Digital node Stuttgart, DB Netz AG. Automated driving operation ATO over ETCS with GoA 2.

Train Capability in Digital node Stuttgart, DB Netz AG. Development of the additional telegram ‘vehicle on track’ in the ATO system concept.

ATO-TS, DB Netz AG. Creation of generic specifications for ATO trackside (ATO-TS).

ETCS Digital Rail, S-Bahn Hamburg. World’s first implementation of ATO over ETCS with GoA 2.

Stuttgart 21, DB Netz AG. Technical project management for the ETCS Level 2 investigation of the Stuttgart S-Bahn.

As part of the Digital node Stuttgart project, automatic train operation (ATO) over ETCS is used to implement automated driving operations with train drivers at automation level 2 (GoA 2). The aim is to increase punctuality in the timetable, increase capacity and drive in as energy-optimised manner as possible during scheduled operation. In this context, NEXTRAIL supports the processing of content throughout all project phases and is primarily responsible for the operational and functional aspects of ATO. In addition, NEXTRAIL supports the project teams of DB Netz AG in system and project development for the peripheral systems Capacity & Traffic Management System (CTMS) and Digital Register.

As part of an innovation cooperation with the relevant manufacturers of the Digital node Stuttgart project, functions and telegrams for a train capability report from the vehicle to the track are developed and implemented as additional information on the vehicle’s condition in the Capacity & Traffic Management System (CTMS). The results of this project are to be integrated into the definition of standardised vehicle interfaces (OCORA) as an integral part of the nationwide roll-out of Digital Rail Germany.

The ATO trackside system (ATO-TS) is the trackside component of the overall ATO system. It manages, among other things, communication with the ATO vehicle component ATO-OB and processes the static and dynamic route and timetable data of the peripheral systems. For the preparation of the ATO-TS implementation in the Digital node Stuttgart project and other projects, NEXTRAIL was commissioned to develop the generic specifications for ATO-TS. This included the system and architecture definition, the preparation of specifications (including semi-formal modelling), the technical examination, the development of the associated planning specifications, the impact analysis and the accompanying safety, security and approval activities.

Conducting the feasibility study and the world’s first pilot project of ATO over ETCS Level 2 with GoA 2 in real operation. NEXTRAIL’s contract covered the entire complex, from the feasibility study, processing of the performance specifications, system development and planning to approval, test and commissioning management. The schedule required the approval of the safety-relevant Delta LH within one year. An implementation window that could be precisely adhered to thanks to the well-established, interdisciplinary cooperation of NEXTRAIL’s cross-functional teams.

Feasibility study to increase quality and capacity on the main line of the Stuttgart S-Bahn by means of a condensed block division with ETCS and ATO GoA 2 – all at the same time as the commissioning of the Stuttgart 21 railway project. The first of its kind in the world, this study revealed that it is already possible to use ATO GoA 2 to operate trains automatically at short notice in order to sustainably increase the operational quality and, in future, also the capacity of the lines. The holistic view of the study encompassed the following dimensions: engineering, certification, operations, planning, radio transmission, cost estimation and equipment strategy.

Focus of the service areas