Railway Research into digital railway technology planned in the Erzgebirge
The Chemnitz University of Technology and Deutsche Bahn AG want to use federal funding to test technologies for the digitalisation and automation of rail transport under real conditions in the future. The "Digital Test Field Railway" is to be built along the line operated by the Erzgebirgsbahn between Annaberg-Buchholz and Schwarzenberg.
We want to continue and increase our efforts to convince people of the benefits of the railway. This is only possible with more digitalisation - on the train and on the line. We want to research and test these technologies in the Erzgebirge: from digital control and security technology to measures for better reception.
I am pleased about the commitment and support of the federal government for this unique and ambitious project. Here in Annaberg-Buchholz, the focus is on practical research into the mobility and rail travel of the future. The joint commitment of all those involved not only strengthens Germany as a location for innovation, it also brings the economic region of the Erzgebirge and the whole of Saxony further forward.
Kretschmer pointed out that the state government has long been committed to the research project. In this context, he announced that the Free State will finance the position of a coordinator who will support Chemnitz University of Technology in planning, managing and implementing the local research infrastructure.
The digital future of the railways has already begun in the Erzgebirge. Since 2018, Europe's first digital signal box in Annaberg-Buchholz has been reliably controlling operations. We are now expanding the test field and working very intensively on the use of the 5G mobile communications standard for railway operations.
We are very pleased that the Federal Government and the State of Saxony are supporting the joint idea of the City of Annaberg-Buchholz and Chemnitz University of Technology for research in rural areas. The campus project is intended to develop both our town of Annaberg-Buchholz and the Ore Mountains into a leading location for research into new railway technologies. This project will be an effective impulse for the implementation of a sustainable structural change in our region.
We are happy to be able to carry out top-level research for the highly automated and sustainable rail transport of the future at a unique test track in the Ore Mountains with the support of the Federal Government and the Free State and in close cooperation with the city of Annaberg-Buchholz.
In order to establish a corresponding research platform, the Federal Government is providing funds of up to EUR15 million for construction and acquisition measures after examining the budgetary and subsidy law constraints. These are essentially three elements:
- the construction of 5G radio masts, supplying media and other field elements along the Annaberg-Buchholz Schwarzenberg railway line
- modernization and expansion of existing buildings along the route with work and operating rooms with the latest technology
- the purchase and conversion of traction units as test trains