GERMAN Railway has launched a DM300m programme to replace its Indusi inductive train control at over 10000 signals by mid-1999. Designated PZB90, the new intermittent train control will initiate an automatic brake application should a train pass a red signal. Developed following a collision between two S-Bahn trains at Rüsselsheim killing 17 people, it will initially be installed at signals protecting station areas.

At the end of November DB put into service its new control centre at Frankfurt-am-Main, which is the largest solid-state signalling installation in Germany and has been under construction for almost five years. DB Netz AG, which legally takes over the German rail infrastructure on January 1, hopes to consolidate control of the whole rail network in Hessen at the new centre by 2010.

The first phase of a programme to transfer control to the new centre covered the replacement of 11 local signalboxes around the city. The second phase will see the replacement of the main signalbox at the Hauptbahnhof in 2002. The 1955-built structure will be retained as a memorial, and DB Netz is inviting suggestions as to its future use, such as a high-level café with an overview of the station and approaches.

A major blockade on December 5 - 6 saw the renewal of signalling equipment on two key routes in Berlin, as part of DB’s five year DM7bn modernisation of that city’s rail network. Signalling and block controls were replaced on the Charlottenburg - Spandau and Charlottenberg - Wannsee main line tracks.