#Large-scale projects 13 December 2023

High Performance for the New Construction ESTW S1 North

For the past two years, numerous SPITZKE teams have been working on implementing the new electronic interlocking system in northern Berlin. Slowly but surely, the construction project ESTW S1 Nord is entering the final stages.

This demanding construction project, undertaken by our railway infrastructure specialists since early 2022, stretches from Frohnau station in Berlin to Oranienburg station in Brandenburg. The implementation of completely new ESTW technology requires a substantial scope of work. The cable construction, carried out by our Equipment/​Electrical Engineering Department, is particularly challenging, as it involves installing approximately 26 km of concrete and GFRP (glass-fiber-reinforced plastic) channels.

More than equipment and the new construction ESTW S1

The transition to the new ESTW interlocking technology also encompasses many construction measures that are necessary aside from the S-Bahn and mainline tracks. In addition to the renewal of the superstructure and the power rail system between Frohnau and Hohen Neuendorf, our large Projects/​Engineering Construction division erected an additional 60-meter-long retaining wall in Birkenwerder, because the existing embankment and some overhead line masts were deteriorating.

Another example is the platform at the Lehnitz station, which was previously only accessible for people with disabilities via a railway crossing with a “call barrier”. This system was not compatible with modern interlocking technology and had to be renewed. Therefore, our specialists in Lehnitz built a new elevator and, upon the commissioning of the ESTW technology, will remove the access route to the platform. It will also receive new roofing in the elevator area

Approvals for Railway Bridges

As a well-coordinated team, our experts from the Equipment/​Electrical Engineering division, in collaboration with other specialized areas, successfully installed numerous cable bridges and other structures. In 2023, the client officially approved the new cable bridges at the railway overpasses at Lehnitz station and Ebelallee, as well as the new cable auxiliary bridge at the overpass Birkenwerder-Briese and the new console at Andre-Pican-Straße.

Our colleagues took large strides towards commissioning on both the S-Bahn and long-distance line during several weeks of track closures in the fall. The Signaling and Telecommunications Department faced some demands regarding switching and testing operations on track switching devices and signals, along with preparatory measures for the commissioning of ESTW S1 Nord. “We laid 120,000 meters of signal and telecommunication cables – an enormous workload that required corresponding organization in advance,” says the deputy department head of Signaling and Telecommunications. Our electrical engineering professionals, responsible for electrical energy systems (EEA/​50 Hz), laid several thousand meters of cable and connected the new substation at ESTW Birkenwerder.

Our project leader Thomas provides some insights into the ESTW S1 Nord project:


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As we’ve gotten used to with the ESTW S1 project, cable construction is one of the most important tasks, and it requires an immense scope of work – even outside track closures: During track closures, the team installed 113 signal foundations, 48 signals, 6 signal cantilevers, the construction of 4,500 meters of concrete cable troughs, as well as a main crossing.

During numerous night shifts, our overhead line crews, equipped with the overhead line assembly vehicle known as “Schörling”, a two-way work platform, and a motorized tower truck, carried out the reconstruction of the overhead lines, including the cross-field tensioning, the dismantling of OLA masts along with their foundations. The overhead measures have mostly been completed, with only a few tasks remaining.

SPITZKE teams are right on target. The commissioning of the mainline is scheduled from late January to mid-February 2024, and the S-Bahn from February to May 2024.