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DB launches digital research train

07 Feb 2019

GERMANY: Deutsche Bahn has unveiled a four-car laboratory train which will be available to the rail sector across Germany for testing digital technologies. Branded the Advanced TrainLab, the train is a former ICE-TD diesel-electric set able to run at 200 km/h.

One of the train’s first duties has been to test mobile radio antennas for the 5G network in conjunction with Ericsson on the Nürnberg – Ingolstadt high speed line as part of the Initiative 5G-Connected Mobility programme.

In the coming months the Advanced TrainLab will be deployed to test sensor and obstacle detection technology as well as for real-time train localisation trials.

Other tests in the pipeline cover data exchange between trains, cars and infrastructure, for example where level crossings are located, and the use of environmentally neutral fuel for diesel engines.

‘The world’s fastest laboratory on rails will give railway digitalisation a powerful fillip’, said DB Board Member for Digitalisation & Technology Prof Dr Sabina Jeschke. ‘Whether it involves antennas, sensors or camera technology, we can test all conceivable vehicle and IT components in actual operations and put them rapidly to practical use’.