GERMAN RAILWAY’s infrastructure business DB Netz is due to begin work next month on a test installation of transmission-based signalling using equipment from Adtranz Signal. Trains between Kaiserslautern and Lauterecken are to start using the equipment at the beginning of 1999.

Designated FFB (FunkFahrBetrieb), the system will use the European GSM-R radio network to exchange data between a control centre and six specially-equipped trainsets. Level crossings along the route will be converted to radio control, and will communicate with both control centre and trains. The trains will determine their safe speed profile automatically using preloaded route data and information received from the control centre and the lineside installations.

DB Netz hopes to prove the suitability of FFB for regional and secondary routes, enabling significant cost savings from the elimination of lineside signalling. o