Digital Rail, S-Bahn Hamburg

S-Bahn Hamburg

Hamburg, January 2018 to October 2021
ATO Digital Interlocking/CBTC

Feasibility study and Digital Rail pilot project for S-Bahn Hamburg

The ITS World Congress is THE event for intelligent transport systems and the mobility of the future. Hamburg hosted this forward-looking event in 2021. As part of the preparations for the event, the Hamburg S-Bahn commissioned NEXTRAIL to test automated driving on a sub-section of the 21 S-Bahn line.


For this purpose, ETCS Level 2 was used on the section between the ‘Berliner Tor’ and ‘Aumühle’ stations, and ATO operation according to GoA 2 was implemented. The TRAXIMIZER from NEXTRAIL was used for the 3D survey of the route section. Thanks to the innovative 3D acquisition system, high-precision data was collected on the route, which enabled the subsequent introduction of ETCS Level 2 and ATO over ETCS on the S-Bahn in a safe and quick manner.


By implementing this project, NEXTRAIL is demonstrating that the introduction of automated driving is also possible at short notice. By the time the IST World Congress 2021 was held, Hamburg would achieve higher operational quality and increased capacity on this section of the route. With the roll-out of ETCS and ATO that will now follow, Hamburg is taking a further, important step towards higher operational quality and increased capacity throughout the network.

Key areas of service

  • Analysis of ETCS Level 2 and electronic interlocking

  • Examination of the technical target image

  • Planning analysis

  • 3D measuring of the "Berliner Tor - Aumühle" roadway section with TRAXIMIZER

  • In the area of ETCS: general project support for generic aspects of ETCS, system development and planning, approval management, test and commissioning management

  • In the area of ATO: general project support for generic aspects of ATO, system development, approval management, test and commissioning management of the technical target image, planning analysis

Special features

The client’s demanding schedule required the approval of a safety-relevant Delta LH within one year. Combined with the initial use of the new ATO technology at Deutsche Bahn, this demanded efficient cooperation between many NEXTRAIL experts from the following fields of expertise: system and requirements engineering, 3D measurement and data management, safety management, and testing and system integration. NEXTRAIL was also able to meet these demanding requirements thanks to its partnership with the client’s project management team.

Contact person

Here you will find your contact person for Training and Strategy and concepts

Dr. Michael Leining

Managing director
Frankfurt am Main
Dr Michael Leining is the managing director of NEXTRAIL GmbH. As a driver of the digitisation of the railways, he works closely with pioneering thinkers, decision makers and committees in the railway sector, advising railway and infrastructure operators on technology and transformation projects at the national and international level.