S-Bahn Hamburg GmbH

Construction of a new Operating and Service Center (BSZ) with 18 operator stations, project duration 13 months


The Hamburg S-Bahn is the rapid mass transit railway network for the local public transportation sector in the major metropolitan area of Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 1907 to serve the citizens of the city on the Elbe, the S-Bahn now has six lines serving 68 stations on 147 kilometres of track. In 2012, it transported a total of 259 million guests. 

Since 2010, the S-Bahn Hamburg exclusively uses CO2-free renewable electricity generated from German hydroelectric power stations. Further, it is the only rapid transit rail system in Germany which uses direct current (1200 Volt) as well as alternating current (15kV / 16.7 Hz), taken from conventional overhead catenaries. 



Since November 2013, all traffic running over the Hamburg S-Bahn is monitored and controlled out of the new Operating and Service Centre (Betriebs- und Servicezentrale / BSZ) in the Hammerbrook district of Hamburg. Here around 80 employees are responsible for coordinating and troubleshooting every train, every driver, every switch point, and even every one of the 234 train indicators on the passenger platforms. All operational data concerning the trains and the stations, as well as the emergency and the IT systems converge here.  

The train and district scheduling team supervises all the traffic and intervenes with corrective measures in case of disruptions. Here, every second counts. Decisions need to be made quickly to minimise negative impacts for passengers and return as quickly as possible to the regular scheduled timetables. Finally, in addition to the Hammerbrook facility, an emergency command station in Altona will be fully integrated with the WEYTEC solution in 2015.


Goal: System Integration

For the Hamburg S-Bahn, traffic control for all the rail turnouts and signals is regulated in 17 local signal boxes, whereby one operates mechanically, six electro-mechanically, eight per push button routing, and two electronically. Into this diverse and challenging environment, WEYTEC has delivered a unified solution based upon the WEYTEC distributionPLATFORM technology, but also including multiple point-to-point connections. One of the most important criteria for this project, therefore, was the ability to integrate the connection, transmission and management of analogue and digital video signals from a very broad variety of systems, and this without the installation of new software on certified PCs. 


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Facts & Figures


  • 18 MK06


  • 18 Desks each with up to
  • 8 Monitors and 1  50'' LCD
    (shared between 2 desks)

Remote Solution

  • 85 IP Remote Transmitters / Receivers
  • 35 TwP V Remote for Touch screens
  • IP Input / Output cards 


  • 84 Sources


The customised solution for the Hamburg S-Bahn is built around the switching and integration capabilities of the WEYTEC distributionPLATFORM. 84 different operational systems or sources are connected to 18 high-tech operator workplaces, which can, in part, be selected on a daily basis at an operator’s discretion according to the principle of “free seating”. 

Each operator desk is equipped with up to eight monitors, one large 50'' LCD screen (shared between two desks) and a MK06 Multifunctional Keyboard which is used to control and conveniently toggle between sources and screens.

Almost all of the sources are centrally located in the system room, but available in real-time at any of the output devices at the 18 operator stations. 

According to Mr. Peter Voss, Head of Operational Engineering at the S-Bahn Hamburg, “One very important point for us was to eliminate the enormous PC heat emissions from the working premises of the Operations and Service Centre. This was elegantly accomplished by remoting the systems to a restricted access, air-conditioned and secure server room. Apart from that, ambient noise from PC fans, etc. has also been dramatically reduced. Furthermore, we simply did not have enough monitors per workplace to display all the required sources. This has been perfectly solved with switching.”

Facility Management

Another requirement was to integrate the facility management system and enhance access control to the BSZ. When a visitor rings the bell, a live video image of the entrance area is automatically switched to the display on the MK06 Multifunctional Keyboard. Operators then communicate with the visitor via speakerphone and open the door with a press of a button. 


For the S-Bahn Hamburg, the paramount benefit of the WEYTEC Solution was the simplified provision of real-time access to diverse IT applications at the operator stations. 

Mr. Voss confirms, “The single biggest advantage with respect to our requirements in the BSZ is the versatility of the switching capabilities between the different applications. On the whole, we were convinced by WEYTEC’s highly flexible and reliable solution concept, which on top of everything was quite affordable from a cost perspective.” 

To begin with, we would definitely choose WEYTEC to work with again, and we are delighted to tell this to interested parties who visit us here and are facing similar problems. Next, I want to mention the excellent support that we received. The project team was just great during the implementation phase and it was remarkable to observe the unequivocal determination to achieve the project targets. This was also apparent during the official overall project acceptance procedures conducted by the Federal Railways Office (Eisenbahnbundesamt).

Peter Voss