BY THE END of this year radio-based signalling should be operational on German Railway’s route from Kaiserslautern to Lauterecken-Grumbach. The branches from Bielefeld to Dissen-Bad Rothenfelde and from Mainz to Gensingen-Horrweiler, Alzey and Monsheim are to follow shortly afterwards, kicking off a programme to convert 16000 route-km of mainly regional lines by 2006.

Despite problems with transmission-based signalling elsewhere, DB plans to use it extensively as it will lead to savings amounting to hundreds of millions of DM a year. Lineside signals will no longer be needed, with major savings in staffing and maintenance costs expected.

In due course DB plans to run its 38384 route-km network from a small number of large control centres.