Linear train control

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Equipped routes in Germany (as of May 2020):
_ Linear train control

The linear train control ( LZB ), also known as line train control , is a railway system that takes on various functions in the area of safeguarding train movements and train control . In addition to the transmission of driving orders, maximum speed and remaining braking distance on a display in the driver's cab , the system monitors the driving behavior of the trains and can influence the movement of the trains by intervening in the vehicle control. In this context, linear means that the exchange of information between the route and vehicle equipment is continuous throughout the journey and also during operational and traffic stops. Some designs of the LZB enable fully automatic control of the driving and braking processes of trains. The linear train control uses inductive data transmission between the vehicle and the route by means of an antenna cable laid in the track, the so-called line conductor . LZB is used in Germany, Austria and Spain, as well as on some urban rapid transit systems in other countries.

In 2014, DB Netz operated 2,465 kilometers of double-track lines with linear train control, which are to be converted Template: future / in 5 yearsto the successor system ETCS by 2030 . At the end of 2019, a total of 2,849 km of 33,291 km in the Deutsche Bahn network were equipped with LZB.

Background of the development

In classic railway operations, train journeys are guided by stationary signals . A main signal indicates whether and, if so, at what speed the track section may be used until the next main signal (see Securing train journeys ). Main signals are announced by advance signals because of the long braking distances of trains. If a train passes a distant signal in the position "expect stop", the driver has to slow down the train so that he can stop until the next main signal.

With increasing train speeds, this results in two problems: On the one hand, the time in which a train driver can perceive the signal aspect of a stationary signal when driving towards it decreases. Particularly in poor visibility such as fog, the time for reliable perception can be too short. On the other hand, the necessary distance between the pre- and main signal increases with the square of the speed due to the longer braking distances . However, since "Expect to drive" should be shown when the advance signal is passed even for slow trains (otherwise the train would have to brake), the pre-allocation time of the sections increases for slow trains, which reduces the performance of the route.

In Germany the standard distant signal distance of 1000 meters should not be changed. In order to ensure braking to a standstill within 1000 m, the maximum permissible speed is limited to 160 km / h, even if the train is well equipped ( magnetic rail brake ). In Germany, journeys at more than 160 km / h are therefore guided by continuous train control, whereby the term guidance includes continuous driver's cab signaling ( Section 15  (3) EBO , Section 40 (2) EBO).

Areas of application

The LZB was developed for high-speed traffic , but due to the denser possible train sequence compared to older systems, it is also used on urban high-speed railways and for goods or mixed traffic within the framework of the CIR-ELKE project. The main advantages of LZB compared to the older systems is the possibility to use extremely short block sections and to monitor the braking distance of the trains depending on their speed and braking behavior.

Basic functionality

At the LZB, a route control center (central computer) monitors the train journey . The line control center is always in contact with the vehicles via a line cable laid in the track. The vehicles use this connection to report their position and speed to the route control center. This calculates individual reference variables for each train and sends them to the vehicles. Compliance with the reference variables is monitored in the vehicle (for more details, see Functionality ).

An LZB device in the driver's cab displays the following information to the driver:

  • Target speed (currently valid maximum speed)
  • Target speed (maximum speed at the next speed change)
  • Target distance (distance to the next speed change)

The setpoint speed already takes into account any braking that may be necessary when approaching the target point, so it drops continuously when approaching until it is finally identical to the target speed at the target point. A signal indicating a stop is a target point with a target speed of zero.

The next destination is - depending on the exact version - displayed up to a distance of 38,000 meters, if no restriction is found up to that point, the target speed corresponds to the maximum speed of the route. With these variables, the driver is shown the passability of the following sections, possibly with speed restrictions. In the conventional signal system, this information would be encoded in the terms of several preliminary and main signals.

In connection with the automatic driving and braking control (AFB) an almost fully automatic control of the train would be possible in this way. Only the braking for stopping at platforms would have to be carried out manually by the driver. However, the AFB is always based on the maximum possible speed and tries to reach or maintain this. So it would e.g. For example, it often happens that the AFB accelerates despite approaching a signal indicating a stop and then decelerates sharply shortly before the signal. However, such a driving style is neither comfortable nor energy efficient. Therefore, the fully automatic control by LZB and AFB is only used in certain situations, even if the LZB braking curves are already significantly flatter than those that are set by the punctual train control at 160 km / h.

Brake curve calculation

The braking deceleration on which the calculation of braking curves is based is selected on the basis of the permissible speed and braking percentages specified by the driver on the vehicle unit , and a gradient is also transmitted by the route control center. Using these values, the On-Board Unit selects the deceleration on which the braking curves are based from tables that are stored on the vehicle. The brake plates describe the permitted braking distance as a function of braking percentages, speed and gradient and were approved by the Federal Ministry of Transport following applications from DB in 1987 and 1989.

For service brakes, the LZB initially used target braking curves with a typical deceleration of 0.5 m / s², along which the train driver (possibly with AFB) should brake. Brake monitoring curves were assigned to the target braking curves . If the driver approaches this, an optical and acoustic warning is given, and when it is reached, an automatic braking curve is triggered. The brake monitoring curves are based on twelve different delays (between 0.115 and 1.10 m / s²), which are particularly dependent on the braking capacity of the train (braking hundredths) and the gradient of the route. Appropriate brake boards have been set up. For braking output speeds of up to 150 km / h, constant decelerations over the entire speed range were assumed in the individual deceleration levels; for braking output speeds above this, the assumed deceleration values ​​decrease linearly in order to take account of decreasing adhesion values ​​between wheel and rail. Brake boards were initially created for the level, for a 5 per mille gradient (maximum value for first upgraded routes) and 12.5 per mille gradient (maximum value for new lines). The brake panels for passenger trains (brake type R / P) set up in 1986 cover the speed range from 80 to 300 km / h. Separate LZB brake panels were later created for freight trains. Speeds of up to 120 km / h were used as a basis. While conventionally only 90 km / h (braking position G) or 100 km / h (braking position P) were permitted, even higher speeds with LZB were opposed to thermal load limits of the brakes.

For the high-speed route Cologne – Rhine / Main , with its gradients of up to 40 per thousand, the previous LZB brake model would have resulted in service braking distances from 300 km / h of up to approx. 15 km. Due to the comparatively large ratio of target and monitoring delay of 7/10 to an unnecessarily large distance.

With the introduction of CIR-ELKE II, the brake model was further developed. Ten brake boards (at 10 km / h and 10 braking hundredths intervals) were set up for slopes of up to 44 ‰ and inclines of up to 39 ‰. By considering several brake panels in a braking distance with changing longitudinal inclines, the line capacity could be increased considerably.

Development of the polyline control

In the 1920s, various tests were carried out in Germany with punctiform train control systems. At certain points, it should be possible to automatically slow down or stop trains by means of mechanical, magnetic, electrical and inductive influences. In order to overcome the associated operational restrictions, a linear train control system was proposed, which should influence train journeys not only at individual points but also continuously. In the United States , linear systems were already in use for about 6000 km at that time.

It was proposed to use the monitoring current of the track circuits to continuously transmit whether the two block sections ahead are free or occupied. The receiver coils located up to 20 cm above the current-carrying rails in front of the first axis should record the data. The brakes should be operated via electrical circuits and the signal aspect of the block signals behind and the two block signals ahead should be displayed to the driver by means of a green, yellow or red lamp.

The first attempts to influence line trains took place in 1928 on the Berlin U-Bahn.

Line conductor on slab track

The development of the modern LZB in Germany began in the 1950s. Hermann Lagershausen , founder of the Institute for Transport, Railway Engineering and Traffic Safety (today Institute for Railway Engineering and Traffic Safety) at the Technical University of Braunschweig (formerly TH), took an important step in the development. The driving on electric view was a major step forward for the railway system, which was considered at the time to research in Germany for Lagershausen.

In collaboration with Leo Pungs , head of the Institute for Low Voltage Technology at the TU Braunschweig, and Heinz Rummert , he researched a system that used a line conductor to switch on level crossings . The project was not implemented, but it showed the line manager's potential for information transfer. Based on the results of the BÜ project and its own new considerations, Lagershausen was able to convince the German Research Association (DFG) to promote a project The Problem of Driving Railway Trains from an electrical point of view from 1958 to 1964. The focus of the project was the development of the basics for the use of the line cable as a transmission medium in order to replace the stationary signals when driving from an electrical point of view.

Peter Form , later professor at the Institute for Transport, Railway Engineering and Traffic Safety at the Technical University of Braunschweig , was primarily concerned with these theoretical foundations . In 1956 he began his work at the institute as a student. Together with Heinz Rummert, he wrote his thesis Speed-dependent activation of level crossings through crossed line conductors at ever shorter intervals . Based on the knowledge gained during this time and the fundamentals developed by Rummert, he dealt intensively with the operational and dynamic driving conditions of driving from an electrical point of view and presented the result of his considerations in his dissertation.

The work of Form was accompanied by employees of Siemens AG , who also thought about the use of line cables. Various developments were jointly patented. This is how the railway companies became aware of the work. The Deutsche Bundesbahn supported the institute by providing a section of track that allowed large-scale experiments. The Hamburger Hochbahn  AG (HHA) made it possible to install experimental setups on its subway network and thus to gain essential information.

After attempts to transmit data on the Lehrte – Wolfsburg (from 1960), Hanau – Flieden and Laufach – Heigenbrücken sections , the decision was made to use a time-multiplex method . A corresponding prototype - developed by Siemens & Halske and the Deutsche Bundesbahn - was tested in the summer of 1963 on an approximately 20-kilometer section between Forchheim and Bamberg in trials at speeds of up to 200 km / h. The line train control should then be used on the high-speed route Hannover – Celle and its continuation. The tests on this route lasted until 1964. After the first operational tests with local signaling technology were carried out - each LZB loop only comprised the area between two signals - the test route was converted to a central control system from spring 1964 and tested from summer 1964. For this summary, among other things, the lower number of necessary control points and their placement in protected buildings, the simpler and clearer entry of speed limits as well as constant and calm displays on the locomotive. On this basis, the decision was made to equip the Munich – Augsburg route with around 2 km long conductor loops and location-selective positioning.

A major goal of development in the Federal Republic of Germany was to be able to increase the speed of scheduled passenger trains to 200 km / h. The first problem arose that with the usual distance between the pre- and main signal of 1000 m and the brake systems commonly used at the time (without magnetic rail brake ), safe stopping was only ensured up to 140 km / h. With an average braking deceleration of 0.7 m / s², the assumed braking distance from 200 km / h, including a deceleration time and a deceleration to full braking, was around 2500 meters. This means that train drivers would have had to recognize the signal aspect of the distant signal from 1.5 km - even in poor visibility - in order to be able to safely stop at the main signal showing the stop. The then Deutsche Bundesbahn was faced with the choice of either attaching additional signals to the route (to signal several sections ahead) or using a driver's cab signaling to display the position of several signals ahead in the driver's cab. A possible confusion caused by the large number of signals to be observed on heavily traveled routes also spoke against the arrangement of an additional “pre-distant signal”.

Modular driver's cab display (MFA) of an ICE 2 in LZB operation: Actual, target and target speed are 250 km / h, the target distance is 9800 meters

After a detailed examination of the multi-section signal variant, the Federal Railroad decided in favor of driver's cab signaling for a number of reasons:

  • Since the LZB system is based on the existing signaling, it was not necessary to train operating personnel who were not involved in high-speed travel. The existing route signals could also be retained and did not have to be changed or supplemented.
  • As a rule, signals on the line no longer have to be taken into account. Therefore, high-speed operation can take place even in unfavorable weather conditions. In addition, there are no dangers that can arise from not recognizing, unconsciously driving past or incorrectly reading a signal aspect.
  • Due to the wide forecast across several main signals, there is the possibility of an adapted and thus energy-saving and gentler driving style, as far as the timetable allows.
  • By constantly influencing the train, there can be an immediate reaction to changes in signal terms (for example, when a signal indicating a journey is withdrawn if there is a sudden operational hazard).
  • As a rule, high-speed trains can run on conventional lines just as conventional trains can run on high-speed lines.
  • If the driver's cab signaling fails, it is possible to drive at lower speeds using the conventional signaling system.
  • While main signals in the 1960s (without today's light signal speed indicators ) could only signal the speed levels stop , 40 or 60 km / h and free travel , the LZB enables driving instructions in any 10 km / h steps.
  • The LZB enables the route to be subdivided into a larger number of smaller block sections . This can increase the performance of a route. If the block section length is sufficiently small, driving with an absolute braking distance is practically possible.
  • In connection with the automatic driving and braking control (AFB) a semi-automatic control of trains is possible. The LZB was seen as a step towards the possible full automation of driving and braking. Here, one also thought early on of possible energy savings potential through the use of the LZB.

To effectively secure high-speed travel, the driver's cab signaling was supplemented by a new train control system that not only monitored the vehicles at the locations of the signals (at certain points, punctiform ), but also permanently. This continuous (linear) transmission gave the line influence its name.

Initial considerations for the conception of the LZB initially focused on a display of the position of the three coming main signals, including target, target and actual speeds in the driver's cab. Subsequently, the view prevailed that a display of target speed and target distance would be more beneficial for the driver. The idea of ​​starting line cable loops 2.7 km before each main signal was also rejected.

In the meantime, from the beginning of the 1960s, the Deutsche Reichsbahn undertook experiments between Schkeuditz and Großkugel with a line train control, which was transferred to a test railcar with coded track circuits. The project showed the principle usability, it failed due to the lack of legal need for train control and the material possibilities of the GDR. In the mid-1960s, various test routes were run in the Federal Republic of Germany by the Berlin transport company, the Hamburg Hochbahn and the Munich U-Bahn. In 1964 an automatically controlled locomotive was put into operation at the Rhenish lignite works. In 1966 a system for shunting locomotive control by line manager was installed in a steelworks.

The early form of liner train control developed by the Deutsche Bundesbahn in cooperation with Siemens initially enabled an electronic forecast over five kilometers. It was used from 1965 on the Munich – Augsburg railway line . The section between the Munich-Pasing exit signal (km 8.5) and Augsburg-Hochzoll (km 57.0) was equipped and five control center areas were created. Individual trains drove daily on this section for the 1965 International Transport Exhibition at a top speed of 200 km / h. LZB was also used from 1967 to 1969. From 1969 to 1974 the LZB was not available. Due to the short preparation time, 17 level crossings for the test runs could not be resolved and were included in the LZB. The mid-1960s put into service route means of LZB 100 were initially in 3-phase MT technology with electronic components ( Germanium - transistors , ring nuclei have been built). An LZB control point had to be set up for each signal box. The corresponding vehicle equipment was also referred to as LZB 100 . According to other information, the LZB 100 was introduced as the second LZB generation from 1974.

In the early 1970s, the line infrastructure was converted to redundant computer systems from General Automation . The so-called control station technology developed by Siemens was gradually put into operation between Munich and Donauwörth and between Hanover and Uelzen from 1974. The line devices were based on circuits in 3-phase MT technology . The route sections were simulated with shift registers that were constantly queried against the direction of travel.

Also in 1974, Standard Elektrik Lorenz began to use process computers as two-of-three computer systems on the Bremen – Hamburg route instead of hard-wired circuits ("Lorenz type" or "LZB L 72"). The operational testing began on the route, with the route control centers Sagehorn and Rotenburg (Han), on June 17, 1974 over a length of 43 km. Initially, up to twelve scheduled trains ran under LZB control, and the number was increased to up to seventeen for the 1974/75 winter timetable. The equipment costs for the line amounted to 18 million DM, of which 7 million DM went to securing 29 level crossings.

After the line train control had not yet reached series production readiness in the mid-1970s, the use of the Sk signaling system with a maximum speed of 200 km / h was considered for the first German new lines . When reliability could be increased in 1975, these plans were discarded. The line control system tested from October 1975 was finally declared ready for series production in December 1978 . The proportion of LZB failures, measured in terms of the distance covered, was around 1.5 percent. The LZB was further developed, also in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Railways. In the years 1977 to 1979, for example, quantitative reliability tests of the overall system were carried out on the Bremen-Hamburg line and between Lavorgo and Bodio on the Gotthard Railway . The failure rates ( λ ) of the vehicle-side (per train and kilometer) and track-side parts (per control center and hour, or per kilometer and hour for the actual line manager) were in the range of 10 -3 to 10 -4 . However, due to the different levels of development between the German and Swiss system variants, they differed significantly for individual subsystems.

An evaluation for 1978 showed that typically around 1.7 percent of LZB train kilometers could not be driven under LZB guidance due to vehicle malfunctions. An evaluation for the Hamburg – Bremen route also showed that around 0.5 percent of the LZB km could not be driven in LZB guidance due to disruptions on the line. Every 6000 hours there was an LZB computer malfunction; after a full inspection, the individual parts of the system should most likely run for half a year to a year without problems. An interference distance of three to six months was calculated for the individual sections of the line cable.

When the timetable changed in May 1978, LZB operations had started at 200 km / h on the Munich – Augsburg – Donauwörth, Hanover – Uelzen and Hamburg – Bremen sections on a total of 170 of 260 kilometers of LZB-equipped lines.

At the end of March 1982, the development committee of what was then the Deutsche Bundesbahn approved the procurement of eight LZB 80 prototype vehicle units . The LZB 80 is the third generation of the LZB and was introduced from 1984.

In 1980 the Deutsche Bundesbahn had around 150 class 103 locomotives , three class 403 multiple units and 140 class 420 multiple units with LZB.

Until the 1980s, the LZB only mapped the existing infrastructure (fixed signals). The infrastructure behind it (e.g. signal boxes , route block ) was retained unchanged. Apart from the high-speed journeys possible with LZB, vehicles without LZB equipment were treated the same in terms of block technology: Both were driving on block sections of the same size, each covered by stationary light or shape signals. The stationary signals have priority over the displays of the LZB. In the driving regulations at the time , the procedure was defined as the LZB operating procedure with signal priority .

The vehicle software was initially still written in assembler and was converted to Pascal in the early 1990s .

Implementation in Germany

The new lines Hanover – Würzburg and Mannheim – Stuttgart, which went into operation between 1987 and 1991, had a different block division for the first time: Fixed light signals only covered danger points (especially train stations and transfer points ), while on the free line in between (over a length of up to about 7 km) no block signals have been set up. While “non-LZB-guided trains” could only enter the following block section with a traffic light signal (so-called whole block mode ), the free route was divided into LZB block sections of around 2500 meters in length (so-called partial block mode ). If an LZB-guided train enters a free LZB block section whose associated H / V block section is not yet free, the opaque light signal is darkened . The sub-block section boundaries are identified by block identifiers. The track vacancy report, however, corresponds to the partial block sections. As with real block signals, you must stop at the boards if you are commanded to do so because the distance to the train is too short.

In addition, the blackout mode in the LZB version CIR-ELKE is also used if there is a contradiction between the LZB specification and the locally signaled speed. Since a reduced speed on the signal applies to a subsequent turnout area from the location of the signal to the end of the entire area, CIR-ELKE and ETCS, on the other hand, will only limit the speed on the corresponding route elements (e.g. only the turnouts of the turnout area) Signals with this discrepancy are also darkened.

For the first time, this operating procedure LZB guidance with priority of the driver's cab signals over the signals on the route and the timetable - referred to as LZB guidance in the driving regulations - was used from May 1988 with the opening of the Fulda – Würzburg section. For technical reasons, the timetable and the signals on the route initially had priority over the LZB on the six remaining LZB sections in Germany. On these sections of the route, the LZB initially had a pre-signal function in order to create the necessary braking distances at speeds above 160 km / h. The LZB thus changed from an overlay system to the primary signaling system. Block sections could thus be formed without stationary signals. LZB block indicators were used in place of block signals. With the EBO change of June 1991, the possibility of doing without conventional pre- and main signals with systems like the LZB was followed up.

In the following years, the old LZB-100 line equipment was also converted to computer-aided two-out-of-three computer systems of the LZB L72 type for the new process. The LZB 80 microprocessor-based in-vehicle equipment was ready for series production in 1987 and initially found its way into the 103 series , later in the 120 series and the ICE 1 . On the line side, a 50 to 100 kilometer long section of a double-track line could be controlled from an LZB-L72 control center. The redundant two-out-of-three computer technology also made it possible to significantly increase the reliability of the line equipment.

The partial block mode saved 120 block signals worth around ten million D-Marks between Fulda and Würzburg alone . Plans to convert line train control to radio transmission as part of a universal 40 GHz radio system for the first two new German lines were rejected at the end of the 1980s.

The function of the track magnets for punctual train control for automatic braking in the event of disregarded signals is retained when the signals are darkened, but is canceled by the LZB vehicle equipment when reference variables are present. By omitting conventional block signals, investment costs of over DM 30 million could be saved on the Hanover – Würzburg and Mannheim – Stuttgart routes.

All other new German lines were equipped in the same way; additional block points with light signals were only set up in individual cases (driving to electronic signal view with few signals) . Further development stages with a complete waiver of stationary signals (driving on electronic signal view without signals) as well as driving on electronic view with absolute braking distance were not implemented. In 1990 the operating procedure LZB guidance was introduced with priority of the driver's cab signals over the signals on the route and the timetable on all LZB routes. In the 1990s, a number of functional further developments of the LZB were discussed, for example shunting under LZB, the issuing of early departure orders for freight trains (from the permissibility of the route) and resumption of the LZB at any point.

In the 1970s, the prospect of the route was up to five kilometers. Before the first new routes were put into operation (up to 280 km / h and a gradient of 12.5 ‰ ), a further development to the microprocessor-based LZB 80 was necessary in the 1980s . The foresight has been increased to 10 km. In the Deutsche Bahn network, with a set maximum vehicle speed of 200 km / h, it is typically 7 km, between 230 and 280 km / h at 10 km and 13 km at 300 km / h.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the LZB had an availability, measured by the number of kilometers covered, of more than 99.9 percent. In the mid-1990s, the LZB80 / 16, based on 16-bit processors and software in high-level language , was introduced. In the further course, more and more vehicles were equipped with LZB and the LZB integrated into multi-system vehicles via system switching.

LZB block identification on a light blocking signal in Weil am Rhein train station . By means of such LZB block sections, a conventional train sequence section can be divided into almost any short sections and the train sequence can thus be shortened.

In 2002, Deutsche Bahn had 1,870 km of routes and 1,700 leading vehicles with LZB in operation. In addition, a number of vehicles from foreign railways were equipped with LZB for traffic in Germany.

Around 2007 an improved LZB in-vehicle equipment was introduced with the LZB80E.

The question of whether it is possible to equip leading vehicles with liner train control as a network access criterion for the new Nuremberg – Ingolstadt line was the subject of a dispute between DB Netz and the Federal Network Agency from August 2011 to June 2012. The Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia ultimately upheld DB's legal opinion and allowed a corresponding criterion.

Locomotives on LZB routes in Germany must now be at least CIR-ELKE-I capable (as of 2019).

Implementation in Austria

When the timetable was changed on May 23, 1993, (EuroCity) trains ran for the first time in Austria at a speed of 200 km / h on a 25-kilometer section of the Western Railway between Linz and Wels , which had been equipped with LZB. Since the complete signaling including block sections has been retained in Austria, the signals in Austria also show travel terms during LZB travel. A signal that does not explicitly indicate that the vehicle is driving or that the driving ban has been lifted corresponds, according to the existing Austrian regulations, to a signal indicating a stop and triggers emergency braking.

The LZB was later extended to the St. Pölten – Attnang-Puchheim sections (excluding the Ybbs – Amstetten, Linz Kleinmünchen – Linz Leonding sections). Since December 9, 2012, the LZB between St. Valentin and Linz Kleinmünchen has for the first time allowed a top speed of 230 km / h, which the Railjet and ICE-T also drive.

Considerations for radio train control

As early as the end of the 1970s, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Research and Technology was investigating the possibility of transmitting LZB information by radio (e.g. in the 40 GHz range). The investigations had come to the conclusion that implementation at the time was not economical. In addition, it remained open how the location made possible by the conductor loops would be implemented in a radio system. Various options were examined, for example measuring the runtime of the radio signals, satellite navigation or data points on the track. In the early 1990s, a two-year study, financed by the Ministry of Research and the Berlin Senate, followed, in which the GSM cellular technology was selected as the basis for the development of a radio system for railways.

The standardized, Europe-wide train control system ETCS , which is prescribed by the EU today , continues the development of the radio train control system previously tested in Germany . From the "ETCS Level 2" expansion stage, the data for driving on electronic signal view with the GSM variant GSM-R are exchanged between the vehicle and the route control center. Eurobalises (data points) installed in the track are used for reliable location determination .

Development steps

The following table gives an overview of the most important development steps of the LZB:

Data description Control / length
1963 Test drives on the Forchheim – Bamberg route
1965 200 km / h presentation drives on the Munich – Augsburg route with the 103.0 series
1965-1974 Development and proof of safety
1974-1976 Field trials on the Bremen – Hamburg line 3 centers / 90 km
1976 Expansion of the Hamm – Gütersloh line
1978-1980 S-Bahn pilot project in Madrid ( RENFE ) 1 headquarters / 28 km
1980-1985 Standard equipment on the Deutsche Bundesbahn 7 centers / 309 km
1987 Start of operations on the new Fulda – Würzburg and Mannheim – Hockenheim lines 4 centers / 125 km
1987 Decision of the Austrian Federal Railways to introduce LZB
1988-1990 Further expansion routes at the DB 2 centers / 190 km
1991 Commissioning of the new Hanover – Fulda and Mannheim – Stuttgart lines and further expansion lines 10 centers / 488 km
1992 New line Madrid - Córdoba - Seville (RENFE) for the world exhibition in Seville 8 centers / 480 km
1992 First section of the Vienna - Salzburg route on ÖBB 1 headquarters / 30 km
1995 Cercanias C5 Madrid suburban train line goes into operation 2 centers / 45 km
1998 Commissioning of the new Hanover – Wolfsburg – Berlin line and the Würzburg – Nuremberg line with electronic interconnection 6 control centers
1999 Commissioning of the CIR-ELKE - pilot route Offenburg – Basel with CE1 system software 4 control centers
2001 Commissioning of the CIR-ELKE pilot line in Achern 1 headquarters
2002 Commissioning of the high-speed route Cologne – Rhine / Main (CE2 software with switch expansion) 4 control centers
2003 Commissioning of the extension line Cologne – Düren (–Aachen) (CE2 software on ABS) 1 headquarters / 40 km
2004 Commissioning of the expansion line Hamburg – Berlin (CE2 software on ABS) 5 centers
2004 Commissioning of the Munich S-Bahn (CE2 software with partly very shortened block distances (up to 50 m)) 1 headquarters
2006 Commissioning of the expansion line Berlin – Halle / Leipzig (CE2 software in ETCS double equipment) 4 control centers
2006 Commissioning of the high-speed line Nuremberg – Ingolstadt (CE2 software with switch expansion) 2 control centers

Various considerations to signal speeds below the safety-relevant restrictions in the sense of a forward-looking, conflict-avoiding driving style via the LZB were not implemented.


Although the LZB system is considered to be a very safe train control system, some dangerous incidents occurred under the LZB:

  • On June 29, 2001, almost a serious accident occurred on the Leipzig – Dresden railway at Oschatz station . Via LZB, the train driver of the ICE 1652 on the journey from Dresden to Leipzig was signaled a speed of 180 km / h due to a signal disturbance in Dahlen for a change to the opposite track to Dahlen, although the switch connection may only be used at 100 km / h. The driver recognized the turnout set and braked down to 170 km / h. The train did not derail, it continued to Leipzig Hbf and was examined there. After an Interregio had problems with the LZB on the same day, it was temporarily taken out of service. Due to an error in the comparison of LZB and ESTW data, the LZB was not aware of the speed limit.
  • On November 17, 2001, there was a near-accident in Bienenbüttel ( Hanover – Hamburg line ). The train driver of the ICE 91 Hamburg – Vienna was supposed to overtake a broken-down freight train on the opposite track . In doing so, he drove on a switch connection approved for 80 km / h at 185 km / h without derailing. The cause is suspected to be the incorrect execution of a circuit change in the signal box, which became necessary due to the increase in the transition speed from 60 to 80 km / h. By forgetting to monitor the failure of the speedometer , the LZB route computer signaled the speed of 200 km / h permitted for straight through traffic instead of the 80 km / h permitted branching off. As an immediate measure, DB Netz had prohibited LZB-guided trips on the opposite track. Two days later, when a driver was brought up to a signal indicating a stop with implausible command variables, the affected LZB headquarters in Celle was temporarily shut down and checked. The evaluation of the PZB registration of the vehicle showed that no interference (1000/2000 Hz) was registered.
  • On April 9, 2002 there was a near collision on the high-speed line Hanover – Berlin . After the computer at the LZB main line had failed in Fallersleben, two trains came to a stop on both tracks in a block section (partial block mode). When the computer started up, the rear train was signaled a speed of 160 km / h, the front train 0 km / h. One of the two train drivers who followed him saw the train standing in front of him, the other asked the operations center to be on the safe side, which warned him of departure. As a result of the incident, DB Cargo and DB Personenverkehr issued an instruction to their train drivers on April 11, ordering special precautionary measures in the event of an LZB failure in partial block mode. The cause is a software error.

Components and structure

For LZB operation, both the line and the traction vehicle or the control car must be equipped for LZB. The components described below are required for this.

Track facilities

Line manager in the track

Line cable laying

LZB uses a line cable laid in the track for the transmission between the vehicle and the line control center. The area in which the same information is transmitted is called the loop area.

The line cable is laid in loops. One strand is laid in the middle of the track, the other in the rail foot. After 100 meters, the lines are exchanged (crossed), at this point the phase position of the signal changes by 180 °. This eliminates electrical interference and is used by the vehicle for location. The On-Board Unit detects the phase jump. This place is also known as the intersection or the 100m point. A maximum of 126 crossing points can be placed per loop area, which divides it into a maximum of 127 driving locations and thus results in a maximum length of 12.7 km per loop area. In the middle of the track, the line conductor cable is held on every second sleeper by a plastic clip, and in the rail foot by a rail foot clamp every 25 meters. The crossing points, loop ends and feed points are covered with profiled sheets in particular to protect against damage from construction machinery. Infeed points and loop ends are usually between two intersection points, so if a short loop fails, only two intersection points are usually not recognized.

Line cables laid in short loops
Short loop technology
With the short loop technique, the loop areas are laid in individual loops with a maximum length of 300 meters. The short loops are fed in parallel so that the same information is transmitted in all short loops in one loop area. The connection between the remote power supply unit and the line control center is established via four cores of a four-star signal cable to which all power supply units in a loop area are connected.
The advantage of short loop technology is that it is more fail-safe; if the line cable is interrupted, a maximum of a 300-meter-long section will fail. This interruption can be bridged by the vehicle. The short-loop remote power supply units are supplied with an AC supply voltage of 750 volts via an additional power supply cable.
Long loop technology
The loop area consists of a single loop powered by a remote power supply. This is positioned roughly in the middle of the loop. The connection to the line control center is also established with four cores of a four-star signal cable. The disadvantage of this type of routing is that if the remote power supply unit fails or the line cable is interrupted, the entire loop area fails and the fault location can only be located by searching the entire loop area. For this reason, long loops are no longer installed; existing long loop areas have been converted to short loop technology.


Topology of an LZB headquarters

16 loop areas are available per line control center for equipping a line with LZB. These can be arranged parallel and / or one behind the other, depending on the route conditions. Separate loop areas are required for overhauls equipped with LZB (see picture). If necessary, further line control centers are used. Neighboring route centers are called neighboring centers. The change of area identifier (BKW) shows the change.

In purely theoretical terms, 101.6 km of double-track line (without overhauls) can be equipped with a line control center.

Line devices

On the track side, the following facilities are essentially required:

Line cable
  • LZB route control center: The core of the LZB route control center consists of a two-out-of-three computer system that calculates the driving commands for the vehicles. The connection between remote feed devices, neighboring control centers and signal boxes is maintained via special modem connections. The information is transmitted on the information cable, in which there is a quadruple cable (two wires each for the direction of the control center → devices or devices → control center) for each transmission channel (loops, neighboring control centers, signal boxes). The connection to electronic interlockings (ESTW) is made via a LAN coupling.
    • To connect the LZB to electronic interlockings, LANCOP-1 coupling computers were developed from 1993 onwards, which implemented the CirNet transmission protocol on the basis of the OSI-compliant protocol base MAP 3.0 and MMS . This established a connection between the ESTW and (using a parallel interface ) LZB computers. These computers have become widely used.
    • The LANCOP-2 computer was developed in the 2000s. A serial interface to the LZB computer was provided on the basis of LAN , the IP protocol and the SELMIS operating system . For this LZB-side only usable with CIR-ELKE interface, LZB computers received an accelerated serial interface with  38,400 baud . In addition to technical modernization, the main goals of the further development were increased requirements for availability, lower signal processing times and the desire to be able to connect several train protection systems. ETCS centers can also be connected with this interface . Element statuses (switches, signals) are transmitted from the ESTW to the LZB or ETCS control center via the LAN coupling and, in the opposite direction, travel-dependent control commands are transmitted. As a result, SAHARA (“Safe, Highly Available and Redundant”) was defined as the standard interface for train protection between Deutsche Bahn, Alcatel and Siemens. The protocol defines a security and retransmission layer as well as a redundancy layer between the application and the transport layer of the OSI model. It was later also used on the HSL Zuid and in the Lötschberg base tunnel . Lengthy international standardization decisions should not be awaited.
    • Up to ten relay interlockings (via remote control racks) or up to ten electronic interlockings (via LAN-COP-L interface) and up to six neighboring LZB centers can be connected to an LZB control center (L72, as of 2006). Each LZB control center can manage 16 line control channels with a length of up to 12.7 km (127 travel locations). In practice, a maximum length of 101.6 km of double-track line is opposed to a maximum length of 60 km.
  • Remote feed devices (with short loop technology: short loop remote feed devices KFS): The remote feed device feeds the information from the information cable coming from the LZB control center into the line conductor. Response telegrams sent by the vehicle are amplified and sent to the LZB control center via the information cable. In one loop area, with short loop technology in all short loops, the same information is fed in from the LZB control center.
  • Presetting devices or initial devices (VE devices, A devices): Devices for generating preset telegrams in the presetting loops.
  • Potential separation cabinets: Catenary influences cause external voltages in the information cable. Galvanic isolation in the potential separation cabinets ensures compliance with the maximum external voltage values ​​within the information cable.
  • Amplifier cabinets: Due to the sometimes large distance between the line control unit and the remote feeder, the signals must be amplified. Amplifier cabinets are used for this.
  • Line cable loops in the track: The line cable loops are laid with a stable, single-core cable that withstands the effects of the weather and that has the necessary antenna properties (see picture).
An LZB area identifier
A "block identifier for LZB and ETCS" on the new Nuremberg – Ingolstadt line
  • Additional LZB signaling (especially block identifiers, area identifiers): Block identifiers are set up at the points where an LZB block section ends and "which are not identified by the location of a main signal"; they mark the point at which an LZB-guided train must come to a standstill in the event of a service brake if entry into the following block section is not yet permitted. Area identifiers signal a change of area identifier and thus the transition to the next loop area. At the area identification changes (BKW), trains can also be included in the LZB guidance without pre-setting by an initial device.

Vehicle equipment

An LZB antenna on a
189 series vehicle
LZB cab display in the ICE 4

The on-board equipment for LZB operation in Germany consists of the following components:

  • LZB vehicle computer : There are two concepts, depending on the manufacturer:
    • The computer unit, which consists of three computers working in parallel, forms a safety-related switchgear through a program-controlled data comparison.
    • Diverse software is running on a secure computer.
  • Power supply : The power supply has a redundant structure and is monitored by the vehicle computer.
  • Transmitting / receiving antennas : The vehicle's antennas are also designed redundantly; there are two transmitting and two or four receiving antennas (two pairs). The number of receiving antennas is vehicle-specific and is determined by the manufacturer.
  • Distance sensors Pent : For the distance and speed measurement, two wheel sensors (position pulse generator) and an accelerometer or a radar are used (different manufacturer concepts).
  • Automatic brake intervention : When the automatic brake intervention occurs, there is a safety reaction to the main air line, which is vented. The automatic brake intervention takes place on the main air line either via a so-called brake control group or via a safety loop.
  • Train data setter : All relevant train data is entered on the train data setter, e.g. B. length of train, type of braking, braking percentage and maximum speed of the train. For vehicles with MVB (such as the 185 series ), train data is entered via the DMI (Driver Machine Interface).
  • Modular driver's cab display (MFA) : The modular driver's cab display gives the driver a complete overview of the route ahead. The three essential reference variables are the (permitted) target speed in connection with a target speed that may at most be driven within a target distance. These values ​​are analogue in the MFA and, in the case of newer series, digitally displayed on the display. Status or fault messages and other important information are displayed to the driver via indicator lights in the MFA, e.g. B. in the case of LZB transmission failures, LZB emergency stop order .
    In vehicles with MVB (e.g. 185 series ), the MFA has been replaced by a DMI (Driver Machine Interface). The DMI offers greater flexibility in terms of design.

The LZB 80 consortium (Siemens and Thales) produced four generations of hardware for the on-board device:

There are also hardware implementations from Bombardier and specific transmission modules from Thales and Siemens .

Signaling overview

In addition to the setpoint and target speed as well as the target distance, other orders can also be transferred via the LZB:

  • LZB end procedure: At the earliest 1700 m before the end of the LZB, the driver has to acknowledge the upcoming end of the liner control and confirm that he is immediately paying attention to the fixed signals and the speeds of the timetable . A yellow indicator light end signals the end of the LZB guidance after the target distance has expired.
  • LZB replacement order: In the event of disruptions, the dispatcher can give a replacement order to continue driving at an LZB stop. The indicator light E / 40 lights up in the driver's cab, the target and target speed are limited to 40 km / h, the target distance corresponds to the validity of the replacement order.
  • LZB precautionary order: The dispatcher can order driving on sight via the LZB. The indicator light V / 40 then flashes in the driver's cab , which changes to a quiet light after acknowledgment by the driver. The target and target speed are also limited to a maximum of 40 km / h, the target distance is equal to the length of the section in which it is possible to drive on sight.
  • For the new Cologne – Rhine / Main line opened in 2002, a selective reduction in the maximum speed of vehicles sensitive to crosswinds was introduced. After the ICE 3s used in regular operation proved to be less sensitive to cross winds than assumed, this functionality is no longer used in regular operation.
  • There were not enough pressurized vehicles available for the first new sections to go into operation. Vehicles without pressure protection were recognized by the LZB through a setting on the train data controller, and the maximum speed of the train was subsequently limited to 180 km / h. This option is no longer relevant today.
  • Further orders are: LZB trip, LZB stop, LZB opposite track driving order, LZB emergency stop (not with CIR-ELKE), LZB order lower pantograph , LZB follow-up order (only with CIR-ELKE).

Additional functions

The LZB can also automatically display the increase in the overcurrent limit (maximum permitted current consumption) of the train and the release of the eddy current brake on the new Cologne – Rhine / Main and Nuremberg – Ingolstadt lines for service braking. On the upgraded routes Berlin – Leipzig and Berlin – Hamburg , the layout of the main switch on protective routes is also controlled via the LZB (signals El 1 and El 2).

An addition to the LZB is being investigated in order to be able to safely rule out encounters between passenger and freight trains in tunnels on the high-speed lines Hanover – Würzburg and Mannheim – Stuttgart . In particular, this could increase the maximum permissible speed in tunnels from 250 to 280 km / h. A distinction would be made between freight and passenger trains based on the braking type setting on the LZB vehicle computer. Signals in front of tunnel entrances would take on the function of so-called gate signals to prevent passenger and freight trains from crossing tunnels.

Functions not implemented

Further considerations for expanding the LZB functionality were not implemented:

  • The overall conception of the LZB provided for the possibility of a later inclusion of tasks of a central operational control and automatic train control. Consideration was also given to signaling lower speeds to the vehicles when the route was densely occupied in order to support smoother, energy-saving operation.
  • Consideration was given to automatically setting up a 60 km / h speed limit at the end of this section when pulling the emergency brake in a section with emergency brake override via LZB . This option was planned for use on the new lines about to open at the end of the 1980s, but was not implemented.
  • One option was to limit the maximum speed at which freight and passenger trains are allowed to meet in tunnels. A movable speed limit stop of a defined length would have been set up for the freight trains. Since train encounters with freight and passenger trains in the tunnels of the high-speed lines are excluded according to the schedule, this option was not implemented.



Crossing between the two line conductors

As already described above, the line cables are crossed after 100 ± 5 meters, i.e. H. the line cable laid in the middle is swapped with the line cable laid on the rail foot. Two crossing points delimit a driving location in the LZB, hereinafter referred to as coarse location. Coarse digits are counted upwards in the counting direction starting from 1, against the counting direction from −1 (255) downwards. A maximum of 127 coarse borders are possible per loop area, which have the numbers 1 to 127 in the counting direction and the numbers −1 (255) to −127 (129) against the counting direction.

The on-board unit divides the coarse locations again into 8 fine locations (0 to 7) with a length of 12.5 meters using the displacement sensors. In order to compensate for tolerances in the distance sensors and in the routing of the line cables, the on-board unit uses the phase jumps at the intersections for counting the location of the journey. When the crossing point is detected, the fine location counter is set to 0 and the coarse location counter continues to count according to the direction of travel. The last fine location in counting direction is lengthened or shortened accordingly.

In contrast to the odometry from ETCS , the distance and speed measurement of the LZB in-vehicle equipment is comparatively simple and requires a distance pulse generator and a maintenance-free accelerometer.

Admission to the LZB

Start of the LZB on a route near Bremen

A prerequisite for inclusion in the LZB is that the vehicle is fully functional. Furthermore, valid train data (braking type, braking capacity in braking hundredths , train length, maximum train speed) must have been entered on the train data setter.

If a corresponding train drives into an area equipped with a line conductor, it is only included in the LZB routing if the vehicle computer detects a change in the area identifier (BKW). The change of the area identifier is prepared by pre-setting loops at defined entry points. In the presetting loops fed by the initial devices, permanently parameterized presetting telegrams are transmitted that transmit the necessary information (travel location number, travel direction, transition to the line conductor at the 50 or 100 m point) of the entry point. When the actual LZB area is reached, the vehicle receives the call telegrams from the control center for the entry point and replies with the requested feedback telegram. The control center then begins to send command telegrams to the vehicle. Depending on local conditions, the display in the MFA is switched to light when the next signal is passed or the BKW at the end of the train.

If a vehicle drives into an LZB area without going through a presetting loop, it will only be included in the LZB after the next change in area code (BKW with basic position). The On-Board Unit receives the request telegrams from the control center, but cannot respond because of the missing location information. When the BKW is driven over, the on-board unit receives call telegrams with a changed area identifier. The driving location counter is then reset in the on-board unit (to 1 when driving in the counting direction / −1 when driving against the counting direction) and the fixed call telegrams for the entry point located at the BKW are answered. Admission to the LZB then takes place as described above.


During operation, the central unit sends request telegrams with the reference variables (area identifier, travel location number, direction of travel, braking curve and destination information) to the vehicle. The vehicle transmits its train data in the response telegram (driver location acknowledgment, braking character, fine location and speed). The control center determines the travel commands from the reported vehicle data, the route status (switch / signal settings) transmitted by the interlocking and the route profiles stored in the control center and transmits them to the vehicle with the next request telegram. Here these are signaled in the driver's cab. Each train is called two to five times per second, depending on the number of LZB-guided trains.

If the On-Board Unit does not recognize one or two intersections, an intersection is simulated at the 100 m point using the displacement sensors. If the next crossing point is recognized, you can continue driving under LZB guidance. If more than three consecutive crossing points are not recognized, i.e. two short loops in a row are disturbed, the vehicle falls out of the LZB guidance.

Due to the limited capacity of earlier LZB vehicle devices, the braking curve at LZB is still calculated in the route control center and transferred to the vehicle in the form of a code number and a standardized braking curve segment.

Determination of the target speed

Representation of the target and monitoring speed

The main task of the LZB is to specify and monitor the permissible speed. For this purpose, the route control center transmits a reference variable XG and the underlying braking parameter to the vehicle. The reference variable characterizes the braking distance to a stopping point. In the event of a speed change, this stopping point can also be fictitious. The vehicle can continuously calculate the target speed (in m / s) from the reference variable (XG) and the braking deceleration (b), taking into account the distance covered:

The diagram shows the change in the maximum permissible speed (here from 300 km / h to 200 km / h) and braking to a stop. The braking parabola is placed so that it runs through the restricting point of the speed profile and ends at the stopping point.

The LZB brake board ( braking type R / P, 12.5 ‰ decisive gradient) provides for a braking distance between 1600 and 2740 m (240 or 140 brake hundredths [BrH]) at a maximum speed of 200 km / h . At 250 km / h the braking distances are between 2790 m (240 BrH) and 5190 m (140 BrH), at 280 km / h between 3760 m and 7470 m.

Telegram types (LZB variant L72 )

Request telegram

The call telegram has a length of 83 bits in 83.5 time steps, with the third bit taking 1.5 time steps for synchronization. A request telegram consists of:

  • Synchronization (sync head (1-0-1-0-1; 5.5 time steps), start step (0-1-1; 3 time steps))
  • Address (area identifier (α… ε, A1… A3; 3 bits) and location number (1–127, 255–129; 8 bits))
  • Safety information (direction of travel (forwards / backwards, 1 bit), braking curve shape / (parabola; 2 bits) and number (1 ... 10, A, B; 4 bits))
  • Brake information (pre-notification path (0… 1550 m; 5 bit), reference variable XG (0… 12787 m; 10 bit))
  • Target information (distance (0 ... 12 700 m; 7 bits) and target speed (0 ... 300 km / h; 6 bits))
  • Display information (signal (emergency stop, ... 3 bit) and additional information ( El 1 , El 3 ; 5 bit))
  • Auxiliary information (type of the requested feedback telegram (feedback 1 ... 4; 2 bits), partial / whole block (1 bit), concealed speed limit position (yes / no; 1 bit), telegram end identifier (bin: 01 / bin: 11; 2 bit))
  • Reserve 7 bits
  • Check sum ((CRC; 8 bit), from the sixth bit, generator polynomial )

Feedback telegrams

Feedback telegrams from the vehicle to the control center have a length of 41 bits and are secured with a 7-bit checksum (generated from the fourth bit, generator polynomial ). The useful contents are listed below:

Telegram type 1
  • Telegram type
  • Driving location receipt (vehicle address confirmation)
  • Braking characteristics (braking type and braking capacity)
  • Fine location within the 100 m sections (0–87.5 m in 12.75 m steps)
  • Speed ​​(0–315 km / h in 5 km / h steps)
  • Operating and diagnostic messages (a total of 28 possible, for. Example, passenger emergency , LZB-stop run over , emergency brake , maintenance required , ...)
Telegram type 2
  • Telegram type
  • Driver location receipt
  • Braking character (braking type and braking capacity)
  • Feinort
  • Maximum train speed (0-310 km / h)
  • Train length (0–787.5 m in 12.75 m steps)
Telegram type 3
  • Telegram type
  • License plate of the railway administration
  • Train number
Telegram type 4
  • Telegram type
  • model series
  • serial number
  • Train length

Telegram transmission

The telegrams are transmitted from the control center in the direction of the vehicle by means of frequency modulation of a carrier frequency of 36 kHz with a frequency deviation of ± 0.6 kHz. The transmission speed is 1200  baud . In the opposite direction of transmission, the carrier frequency is 56 kHz, the frequency deviation ± 0.2 kHz and the transmission speed 600 baud. The telegrams therefore take almost 70 ms in both directions. A cycle consisting of the request telegram, processing and feedback telegram takes 210 ms.

Newer LZB versions

In the LZB versions LZB CE1 and LZB CE2 for CIR-ELKE , the telegram structure for the new functions has been expanded. Line cables, loop structure and computer remained unchanged. Loop lengths and software had to be adapted to the new tasks.

Main railway lines equipped with LZB

At the beginning of 2006, 2920 kilometers of track were equipped with LZB or were being upgraded across Europe. Around 400 kilometers of route, in Germany, Austria and Spain, were under construction. In Germany there were 34 LZB centers (1580 km) with LZB L72 in operation, another 5 centers (approx. 155 km) with LZB CE I and 11 centers (515 km) with LZB CE II. In Spain there were eleven L72 centers About 530 km of route in operation, in Austria three LZB centers with about 140 km. On the vehicle side, around 2,600 vehicles at Deutsche Bahn were equipped with LZB by the LZB 80 consortium of Alcatel TSD and Siemens.

Germany (DB)

In the early days of high-speed traffic on the DB network, the LZB was the basic requirement for operation at more than 160 km / h, provided that the route conditions (condition of the superstructure, tracks , catenary, etc.) allow this speed.

The following upgraded and existing lines and new lines of Deutsche Bahn are (as of 2014) equipped with LZB:

VzG No. Railway line Course and mileage Route control center Route length v max Remarks
1700 Hanover - Minden Hannover central station (km 4.4) - Wunstorf (km 20.4) Stadthagen 16.0 km 200
1700 Hanover - Minden Haste (km 29.2) - Bückeburg (km 53.4) Stadthagen 24.2 km 200
1700 Bielefeld - Hamm Brackwede (km 114.5) - Heessen (km 174.3) Rheda-Wiedenbrück 59.8 km 200
1710 Hanover - Celle Hannover Hbf (km 3.9) - Celle (km 40.8) Celle 36.9 km 200 Route change with kilometer jump in Celle to 1720
1720 Celle - Hamburg Celle (km 43.6) - Hamburg-Harburg (km 166.4) Celle • Lüneburg 122.8 km 200 Route change with kilometer jump in Celle to 1710
1733 Hanover - Würzburg Hanover main station (km 4.2) - Würzburg main station (km 326.6) Orxhausen • Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe • Kirchheim (Hesse) • Fulda • Burgsinn • Würzburg 322.4 km 280 The Orxhausen headquarters (Hanover – Göttingen section) was migrated to CIR-ELKE .
1760 Paderborn - Soest Paderborn Hbf (125.1) - Soest (180.8) Soest 55.7 km 200 Route change with kilometer jump in Soest to 2930
1956 Weddeler loop Sülfeld (km 18.8) - Fallersleben (km 24.2) Fallersleben 2 5.4 km 160 Route change with kilometer jump in Fallersleben to 6107
2200 Münster - Osnabrück Münster (km 68.5) - Lengerich (km 101.6) Lengerich 33.1 km 200
2200 Osnabrück - Bremen Bohmte (km 139.7) - Bremen fork Abzw. (Km 231.1) Bohmte • Kirchweyhe 91.4 km 200
2200 Bremen - Hamburg Sagehorn (km 253.9) - Buchholz (Nordheide) (km 320.0) Rotenburg • Buchholz 66.1 km 200
2600 Cologne - Aachen Cologne Central Station (km 1.9) - Düren (km 41.1) Cologne-Ehrenfeld 39.2 km 250 The Cologne - Düren route is equipped with the extended line control system CIR-ELKE .
2650 Cologne - Duisburg Leverkusen-Mitte (km 6.7) - Düsseldorf Hbf (km 37.3) Düsseldorf main station 30.6 km 200 The headquarters in Düsseldorf was migrated to CIR-ELKE .
2650 Cologne - Duisburg Düsseldorf Hbf (km 40.1) - Duisburg Hbf (km 62.2) Düsseldorf main station 22.1 km 200 The headquarters in Düsseldorf was migrated to CIR-ELKE .
2650 Dortmund - Hamm Dortmund (km 120.4) - Nordbögge (km 143.3) Came 22.9 km 200
2690 Cologne - Frankfurt (Main) Cologne-Steinstr. Abzw. (Km 6.8) - Frankfurt Airport Fernbf. (km 172.6) Troisdorf • Montabaur 165.8 km 300 The Cologne - Rhine / Main line is equipped with the CIR-ELKE extended line train control .
2930 Soest - Hamm Soest (km 111.5) - Hamm (Westf) (km 135.6) Soest 24.1 km 200 Route change with kilometer jump in Soest to 1760
3600 Frankfurt (Main) - Fulda Hanau (km 24.7) - Hailer-Meerholz (km 40.4) Gelnhausen 15.7 km 200
3677 Frankfurt (Main) - Fulda Hanau (km 24.7) - Hailer-Meerholz (km 40.4) Gelnhausen 15.7 km 200
4010 Mannheim - Frankfurt (Main) Mannheim-Waldhof (km 5.4) - Zeppelinheim (km 69.4) Biblis 64.0 km 200
4020 Mannheim - Karlsruhe Waghäusel-Saalbach junction (km 31.7) - Karlsruhe main station (km 59.7) Hockenheim 2nd 28.0 km 200 From Waghäusel-Saalbach in the direction of Mannheim, continue on route 4080
4080 Mannheim - Stuttgart Mannheim main station (km 2.1) - Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen (km 99.5) Hockenheim 1 • Vaihingen (Enz) 97.6 km 280
4280 Karlsruhe - Basel (CH) Baden-Baden (km 102.2) - Offenburg (km 145.5) Achern • Offenburg 43.3 km 250 The Baden-Baden - Offenburg line is equipped with the extended line control system CIR-ELKE .
4000 Karlsruhe - Basel (CH) Offenburg (km 145.5) - Basel Bad Bf (km 269.8) Offenburg • Kenzingen • Leutersberg • Weil am Rhein 124.3 km 160 The Offenburg - Basel route is equipped with the CIR-ELKE extended route control system. The maximum speed on this section is 160 km / h.
4280 Karlsruhe - Basel (CH) Katzenberg Tunnel (km 245.4 to 254.8 km) Because on the Rhine 9.4 km 250 The Katzenberg tunnel is equipped with the extended line control system CIR-ELKE .
5300 Augsburg - Donauwörth Gersthofen (km 5.1) - Donauwörth (km 39.7) Augsburg central station 34.6 km 200 The LZB headquarters in Augsburg was upgraded to CIR-ELKE in 2018.
5302 Augsburg - Ulm Diedorf (Schwab.) (Km 8.6) - Dinkelscherben (km 27.8) Shards of spelled 19.2 km 200 The LZB headquarters in Dinkelscherben is equipped with the extended line control system CIR-ELKE .
5501 Munich - Ingolstadt Munich-Obermenzing Abzw. (Km 6.9) - Petershausen (km 38.7) Petershausen 31.8 km 200 A further section (kilometers 38,400 to 62,100) of the Ingolstadt – Munich upgraded line was to be equipped with LZB by 2014 (status: 2009), but will now receive ETCS in the future.
5503 Munich - Augsburg Olching (km 14.2) - Augsburg Bft Haunstetter Strasse (km 60.2) Mering 46.0 km 230 The LZB headquarters in Mering is equipped with the extended line control system CIR-ELKE .
5540 Main line (S-Bahn Munich) München-Pasing (km 6.3) - Munich Hbf (deep) (km 0.0) Munich Donnersbergerbrücke 6.3 km 120 Route change in Munich Hbf to 5550;
The Munich S-Bahn main line is equipped with the CIR-ELKE extended line train control system.
5550 Main line (S-Bahn Munich) Munich Hbf (deep) (km 0.0) - Munich East Pbf (km 3.7) Munich Donnersbergerbrücke 3.7 km 80 Change of route in Munich Hbf to 5540;
The Munich S-Bahn main line is equipped with the CIR-ELKE extended line train control system.
5850 Nuremberg - Ingolstadt Nürnberg Hbf (km 98.0) - Nürnberg-Reichswald Abzw. (Km 91.1) Fischbach 6.9 km 160 Route change with kilometer jump in N-Reichswald to 5934
5910 Fürth - Würzburg Neustadt (Aisch) (km 34.8) - Iphofen (km 62.7) Neustadt (Aisch) 27.9 km 200 The route control center was migrated to CIR-ELKE in June 2020
5934 Nuremberg - Ingolstadt Nürnberg-Reichswald Abzw. (Km 9.4) - Ingolstadt (km 88.7) Fischbach • Kinding 79.3 km 300 Route change with kilometer jump in N-Reichswald to 5850
6100 Berlin - Hamburg Berlin-Albrechtshof (km 16.5) - Hamburg-Allermöhe (km 273.1) Nauen • Glöwen • Wittenberge • Hagenow Land • Rothenburgsort 256.6 km 230 The Berlin - Hamburg route is equipped with the CIR-ELKE extended line train control .
6107 Oebisfelde - Hanover Oebisfelde (km 111.0) - Lehrte (km 238.5) Rathenow • Fallersleben 1/2/3 127.5 km 200 Change of route in Oebisfelde to 6185
6132 Berlin - Bitterfeld Berlin-Lichterfelde Ost (km 10.6) - Bitterfeld (km 132.1) Ludwigsfelde • Jüterbog • Wittenberg • Bitterfeld 121.5 km 200 Change of route with a kilometer jump in Bitterfeld to 6411
6185 Berlin - Oebisfelde Berlin-Spandau (km 111.0) - Oebisfelde (km 238.5) Ruhleben • Rathenow • Fallersleben 1 127.5 km 250 Change of route in Oebisfelde to 6107
6363 Leipzig - Dresden Leipzig-Sellerhausen (km 3.5) - Riesa (km 59.4) Spice up 55.9 km 200
6399 Oebisfelde – Fallersleben Vorsfelde (km 7.3) - Sülfeld (km 20.0) Fallersleben 2 12.7 km 160
6411 Bitterfeld - Leipzig Bitterfeld (km 49.0) - Leipzig Messe (km 72.3) Bitterfeld 23.3 km 200 Change of route with kilometer jump in Bitterfeld to 6132

In the course of the second trunk line Munich , the line train control is to be installed in the Munich-Pasing station and on S-Bahn lines to the west of it. The start of construction is planned for 2024, the commissioning should take place at the latest together with the second trunk line.

S-Bahn Munich (DB)

In order to achieve a headway time of 90 seconds (including a buffer of 18 seconds), the main line of the Munich S-Bahn was equipped with LZB when it was commissioned in 1972. Up until the end of the 1960s, it was still planned to drive within the braking distance (using the vehicles' automatic end-of-train monitoring). In a control center, a computer should calculate the most favorable driving speed for each train based on the line occupancy and transmit it to the driver's cab display device via the line conductor in order to achieve the most economical driving style. The power requirement should also be smoothed over the LZB so that not many trains start at the same time. For the Munich S-Bahn, the LZB technology used on the Munich – Augsburg line, slightly modified, was adopted. In a second stage, the LZB was to be extended to the entire S-Bahn network and, in the final stage, fully automatic operation with automatic train journeys and automatic control of operations was planned.

This LZB was technically designed for a minimum headway time of 90 seconds (40 trains per hour and direction) including a tolerance of 20% and was changed several times in the 1970s:

  • The LZB installed in 1972 was only used in trial operation. The minimum distance between the end of the train of the S-Bahn train in front and the tip of the next S-Bahn train was at least 12.5 meters tolerance of the end of the train + 25.0 meters of slip distance + 37.5 meters of protective distance (75.0 meters in total). The line conductor loops were crossed about every 100 meters to calibrate the distance measurement , in the station area more often with an LZB crossing point each 6.25 meters before the operational target stopping point. In addition, every 12.5 meters there was another fine localization on the wheel. Each control station could control a maximum of 9 trains with a maximum transmission distance of 12.7 kilometers. The signaling should be done by driver's cab signaling , the target points of which could be chosen very close and the target speed could be mapped in 100 meter steps. The track vacancy detection was provided by means of automatic train tail control and fine localization every 12.5 meters by transmitting the section number to the LZB line device; Thus, a minimization of the train sequence was only possible directly between two trains equipped with this LZB.
  • In the 1970s, the LZB from 1972 was modified due to the fact that it was not applicable to non-LZB trains so that every 210 meter long platform section was divided into two track vacancy detection sections to enable a follow-up train to move up after half the platform area had been cleared - with one higher minimum headway time than before. This modification did not go into regular operation either.
  • At the end of the 1970s, the LZB, which was installed in 1972 and later modified, was finally adapted to the H / V signal system used since 1972, similar to the former long-distance LZB , which was originally only intended as a reserve signal system . In regular operation only some of the S-Bahn trains ran with LZB until it was dismantled in 1983.

Due to the low availability, the high maintenance costs and the lack of operational benefits, this system was decommissioned and dismantled in 1983. By optimizing the H / V signaling system, a throughput of 24 trains per hour could be achieved even without the use of LZB.

The LZB went back into operation in December 2004 on the basis of new technology in order to increase the throughput from 24 to 30 trains per hour and direction, the technical capacity is 37.5 trains per hour and direction. Since 2018, other class 420 multiple units have been equipped with LZB.

Austria ( ÖBB )

Western Railway :

From 1991 the Westbahn was equipped with LZB, initially between the main stations in Linz and Wels.

Switzerland (SBB)

In the 1970s, two lines in the network of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) were equipped with liner train control on a trial basis. For reasons that were not specified in more detail, both attempts were discontinued and no further applications were made.

At the end of 1971, the SBB commissioned Standard Telephon & Radio AG (STR) to equip the Gotthard southern ramp between Lavorgo (location of the route headquarters) and Bodio with the LZB system L72 from SEL . At the same time, Brown Boveri AG received the order to develop an on-board unit for six Re 4/4 II locomotives . Regional trains RABDe 8/16 were also equipped. The system was tested for the first time in September 1974. On July 1, 1976, the fixed systems were taken over by the SBB. Every day around 15 trains ran along the route under LZB guidance. This system already took into account the gradient of the route in the braking distance calculation and had four sub-blocks known as “virtual block routes”. While the system was largely the same as that used on the Bremen – Hamburg line, the SBB decided on a different laying system (according to UIC standard A3 instead of B3).

The LZB in Switzerland was used to achieve shorter headway times , not to increase travel speeds. Another source emphasizes increasing the safety of rail operations as an essential goal. The LZB variant used was also referred to as UIC-LZB . In 1978 a profitability study was expected by the end of 1979, according to which a decision should be made about the introduction of the LZB on the Swiss network. The system was not introduced across the board.

Malaysia ( KLIA Ekspres )

ZSL-90 at the KLIA Ekspres in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia uses normalspurige 56 km long Airport Express KLIA Ekspres the line conductor system ZSL-90 for speeds of up to 160 km / h.

Spain ( Adif )

  • Madrid - Córdoba - Seville (nine centers / 480 km). The line has been in operation since April 1992.
  • The Madrid-Atocha terminus has also been equipped with LZB since March 2004.
  • In November 2005 a branch to Toledo was opened (20 km).
  • The Córdoba – Antequera section has been in operation since December 16, 2006 (two centers / 102 km). This section is part of the Córdoba – Málaga line (three centers / 154 km). The third center is expected to go into operation at the end of 2007.
  • Madrid suburban train line C5 from Humanes via Atocha to Móstoles (two centers / 45 km and 76 vehicles of the 446 series).

Spain ( EuskoTren )

The Spanish narrow-gauge railways use a related system developed for German industrial railways:

Line-shaped train control for underground and light rail vehicles

LZB technology is not only used in railways , but also in underground and light rail vehicles . Due to the different requirements, the technology used differs considerably from the main railway systems. In particular with the short loop systems LZB 500 and LZB 700 from Siemens, the principles mentioned under Functionality cannot be applied.

Hamburger Hochbahn

The Hamburger Hochbahn (HHA) was the first company in Germany to test automated driving on sections of the U1 . The aim was to save costs and improve quality. After equipping the Ritterstraße – Trabrennbahn line with a line conductor with 30 m long loops, the two DT2 units 9388/9389 (AEG equipment) and 9426/27 (Siemens equipment) and a short time later also the DT3 - Prototype 9600/01/02 (one driver's cab each with AEG and Siemens equipment) Tests took place. In the 1970s, further tests were carried out on the third track between the Farmsen and Berne stations (project PUSH = process computer-controlled subway automation system Hamburg). After all, from October 31, 1982 to January 8, 1985, six DT3 units converted to LZB operation were in regular passenger service on the 10-kilometer route between the Volksdorf and Großhansdorf stations. After that, the automated operation was stopped again. The elevated railway is not planning a reintroduction. The line cables that have been laid across the entire network since the early 1970s are used for train telephony.

Berlin subway

The first attempts to influence line trains on the Berlin subway were made in 1928 in the Krumme Lanke station area and in 1958/1959 with audio frequency alternating current loops.

On the Berlin underground line U9 from 1976 to 1993 some of the trains went to LZB. Corresponding test drives were successfully completed from 1965 onwards, starting with the short section between the zoological garden sweeping system and the Spichernstrasse underground station. Furthermore, until 1998, further attempts were made to "driverless sweeping" to automatically change the direction of travel of the underground trains behind the terminus. The LZB 500 short loop system (referred to as LZB 501 in Berlin) with standard 64 m long LZB loops was used on the U9 . The LZB was shut down for economic reasons, as the existing signal and train control systems were considered sufficient to ensure the train headways required there .

Further experiments with continuous train control systems and automatic driving took place on the U2 ( SelTrac ), U4 (SelTrac) and U5 ( STAR ) lines, with STAR using radio technology (radio train control) instead of line cable loops for data transmission .

Stadtbahn Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Krefeld, Meerbusch, Mülheim an der Ruhr

The tunnel routes on the light rail vehicles in Düsseldorf , Duisburg and partly in Mülheim an der Ruhr as well as on the surface route from Düsseldorf via Meerbusch to Krefeld (between the Düsseldorf-Lörick and Krefeld-Grundend stops) are equipped with the Alcatel SEL LZB L90 train protection system. An automatic driving operation with driver is carried out, the driver presses a start button for departure and monitors the vehicle and the route while driving, without intervening in the vehicle control during normal operation.

On an above-ground section of the U 79 line in Duisburg, a line conductor is also laid between the Münchener Straße and Im Schlenk stations, but it is only used for testing the vehicle equipment. On a section on the surface of the Düsseldorf - Krefeld route (between Luegplatz and Lörick) only the position of the trains is transmitted to the control center.

Vienna subway

In Vienna, too, with the exception of the U6 line, the entire subway network has been equipped with a linear train control system, the LZB 500 short loop system from Siemens (LZB 503/513), and offers the option of automatic driving , with the the driver exercises a monitoring function. A fall-back level with conventional light signals was dispensed with in Vienna. Short loops with a length of 74 m are used on the Vienna underground.

At both terminus of the Vienna U4 - in Heiligenstadt since 2000, in Hütteldorf since 1990 - all trains are turned automatically by the driver getting off at the arrival platform, using the key switch to request the automatic journeys one after the other, taking over the train again at the beginning of the departure platform and along the platform to corresponding stopping point. The latter is necessary because, in contrast to the Nuremberg underground lines U2 and U3, there is no automatic track area monitoring in the platform area.

Due to the satisfactory results, the Aspernstraße station on the U2 was also equipped with an automatic turning system.

Munich subway

Like the one in Vienna, the Munich subway network has been equipped with the LZB 500 (LZB 502/512) short loop system since it was commissioned. It was replaced by the M21 on-board unit around 2005.

In normal operation, the daytime driving is to LZB. In the evenings from 11 p.m. until the end of operations, driving is done by hand, taking into account the fixed signals, so that the driver can keep up with manual driving (so-called driving according to fixed signals (FO) ). In the past, people drove by hand at 9 p.m. and on Sundays. It is stipulated that every driver has to achieve a certain monthly number of driving hours according to fixed signals.

When driving to LZB , the driver presses two start buttons at the same time after starting up or after each train dispatch. The driver then monitors the track space, operates the doors, handles the train handling and is available in the event of a fault. The driver can drive manually using the maximum speed displayed in the driver's cab as well as with automatic driving / braking control (AFB) ; Fixed signals are darkened in both LZB driving modes. The train number-dependent switchover between driving according to fixed signals (FO) and driving according to LZB takes place at the signal box, which means now by remote control from the subway operations control center. If the train protection system malfunctions, a substitute signal is activated manually.

The Munich subway is equipped with 78 m long LZB loops as standard, which are lengthened as the normal direction of travel descends. As a result, the LZB standard braking distance is always guaranteed over three LZB loops, at least in the normal direction of travel; Another LZB loop is used to keep a safe distance. A following train can move up to 80 meters on a train standing on a platform or leaving the platform. Additional stopping positions can be set in the LZB. In the area of ​​the stations, due to the platform length of 120 m, the LZB loops are arranged in such a way that at the respective exit signal there is a slip path of 96 m on the level.

Automation of the parking and turning of empty trains in turning systems with the help of the LZB as a preliminary stage to fully automatic operation is currently being planned.

Nuremberg subway

With the commissioning of the U3 line, the Nuremberg underground system will operate fully automatically without a driver. The trains of the DT3 series run on routes that are equipped with linear train control and no longer have a separate driver's cab, but only an emergency cab. The system was developed jointly by Siemens and the operator VAG Nürnberg and should be the first in the world in which driverless trains and conventional trains run on a common route section (which is used by the existing U2 line and the new U3 line). In the beginning there was a customer service representative on every train, but now most trains run unaccompanied.

After several years of delays, the final three-month test operation without passengers was successfully completed on April 20, 2008, and the final operating license from the technical supervisory authority was issued on April 30, 2008. In a step-by-step lead-up operation with passengers that began a few days later, it was initially on Sundays and public holidays, then also on weekdays during low-load times and finally every day after the morning rush-hour traffic (in which a lead-in operation was not possible due to the dense train sequence of the U2 before the timetable change) hazards. The official opening of the U3 took place on June 14, 2008 in the presence of the Bavarian Prime Minister and the Federal Minister of Transport, regular operation began with the timetable change on June 15, 2008. On January 2, 2010, the U2 line was also switched to automatic operation.

The most advanced version of the LZB 500 short loop system from Siemens, the LZB 524 with a standard loop length of 90 m, is used here. As a special feature, on the pure U3 routes, where no driver-guided trains run, the track vacancy is also reported via the LZB; the stationary track-side track vacancy detection is only available in rudimentary form as a fallback level.

In addition, non-safety-relevant information from driverless operation such as orders to change the direction of travel, the train destination and driving orders are transmitted via the liner train control.

London Light Rail (DLR)

The Docklands Light Railway in East London has been running automatically on trains without a driver's cab since it went into operation. The trains are accompanied by an employee called the Train Chief who is responsible for closing the doors and issuing the departure order, but who is mainly responsible for customer service and ticket control during the journey. In the event of a malfunction, the trains can be driven manually by the Train Chief from an emergency driver's cab. The linear train control system used is the SelTrac system manufactured by Alcatel and further developed from the LZB developed by Standard Elektrik Lorenz (SEL) for the Deutsche Bundesbahn .

Successor system standardized across Europe

Eurobalises for ETCS in Wittenberg . In 2006, LZB and ETCS were operated on a trial basis on the Berlin – Halle railway line .

In the Deutsche Bahn network, the liner train control is to be gradually replaced by ETCS Level 2 between 2025 and 2030. The trackside equipment with LZB-L72 was discontinued by the manufacturer Thales for 2012. Existing routes will be converted to LZB-L72-CE (CIR-ELKE) in a migration plan by 2023. Around 75% of the LZB lines will be double-equipped with ETCS Level 2. Almost all LZB lines will remain usable with on-board LZB until at least 2026. The LZB on the track side will then be gradually switched off, with the last LZB lines to be switched off in 2030, as the manufacturer also only guarantees system maintenance for LZB-L72-CE up to a maximum of 2030. As part of the concentration of the ETCS rollout on Corridor A (Rotterdam – Genoa), the first double equipment LZB / ETCS is planned for the Basel – Offenburg corridor. The previous pilot project has shown that ETCS Level 2 can take over all operational requirements of the LZB system, including the high-performance block function. In the course of the conversion from LZB to ETCS, a number of existing interlockings will probably have to be replaced by new electronic or digital interlockings .

The LZB is a system that is mainly tailored to German conditions and requirements. In the course of the unification and standardization of the European rail systems, ETCS was prescribed as a uniform train control system within the European Union ; this development is also supported by Switzerland as a landlocked country within the EU. ETCS is now being tested on various routes. The LZB is managed as a class B system within ETCS, for which there is a standardized adaptation module ( Specific Transmission Module , STM) that allows the operation of ETCS vehicles equipped for this purpose on LZB routes. The parallel equipping of lines with ETCS and LZB is also possible and approved, although according to the standard, the ETCS system must take on the safety-related leadership role.

In the case of parallel equipment, there is the option of placing the ETCS entrance (initial balise) in front of the LZB pre-setting loop in the direction of travel. If, on the other hand, the initial balises lie behind the LZB start in the direction of travel, the LZB data transmission is aborted when recorded in ETCS. To avoid error messages, a CIR-ELKE-LZB control center with special adaptations is required. For the transition from ETCS to the LZB, the ETCS on-board unit is requested to change the system by means of an announcement balise; for the transition from the LZB to ETCS, announcement or transition balises are used. In addition to this automatic transition, a manual transition between the train control systems triggered by the driver is also possible. While a direct transition from LZB to ETCS Level 2 is possible, an intermediate section with PZB is required for the transition from ETCS Level 2 to LZB.

In Spain around 2006, 64 multiple units of the 102 and 103 series were equipped with ETCS on-board units , in which the LZB is integrated as an additional national train control system (STM).

Web links

Commons : Polyline influence  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Line-shaped train control  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


Individual evidence

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  30. Without an author: The further plans of the Neue Bahn. In: Bahn-Special , Die Neue Bahn . No. 1, 1991, Gera-Nova-Verlag, Munich, p. 78 f.
  31. Research and Testing Office of the International Union of Railways (ed.): Question S 1005: Linear train influence: Report No. 2 - Part I: Final report. Operational reliability of the linear train control system described in the ORE report A 46 / R 6, Annex 6A . Utrecht, September 1980, p. 33ff.
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