How can the subway be improved
Munich S-Bahn improves passenger information
Action program “Future S-Bahn Munich” brings further projects for more quality and a strong rail to the start
More quality for passengers and a strong rail - this is what the 2020 action program “Future S-Bahn Munich” is all about. For three years, the S-Bahn has been working with DB Netz and DB Station & Service on overarching measures aimed at improving quality for customers. Numerous projects have already started this year or are about to start - even in times of Corona work is being carried out on an attractive and high-performance S-Bahn system. One of the core topics: more and better information in the event of a malfunction, but also in regular operation. “We know that we have to get significantly better in the area of passenger information. We are working intensively on taking customers by the hand and giving them more orientation, especially in the event of disruptions, ”says Heiko Büttner, CEO of the Munich S-Bahn. Recently, passengers have been able to see the real-time timetable and connection options on all information monitors in the modernized S-Bahn. The top projects in 2020 also include the beginning of the WLAN expansion of the vehicle fleet and the modernization of the tunnel stations on the main route. With the commissioning of the expanded parking facility in the Steinhausen S-Bahn plant, including new interlocking technology, the DB created urgently needed additional capacities. The modernization of the vehicle fleet is progressing further.
The future of Munich S-Bahn - it will run in 2020
Modern information systems for all S-Bahn stops
The majority of S-Bahn customers, including those on the outside branches, are already informed optically and acoustically about the next S-Bahn trains on the platform via modern information systems. By the end of the year, DB will be retrofitting the 47 missing stations with funds from the Free State. In the current year, 12 train stations have already been equipped with the new indicators, including the Altomünster and Seefeld-Hechendorf stations.
Better information in the event of malfunctions
Passengers can now see the real-time timetable and the connection options on all information monitors in the modernized ET423 suburban trains. In the end, the monitors only showed the planned timetable. The first trains have been equipped with the new software since last autumn, now it is
entire modernized fleet converted. The timetable data for underground trains, trams and buses of the MVG are now dynamically displayed on the information monitors. With the new software, the S-Bahn and the Bavarian Railway Company also publish a colorful infotainment offering on the monitors, including entertainment, current news and information on the S-Bahn and the state of Bavaria.
At the same time, we are working on better information in the event of faults. To this end, so-called fault maps have been tested intensively in the past few months. You will soon be expanding the range of information on the train. During a fault, the customer is shown graphically which lines are affected and which alternative routes exist. The Munich S-Bahn is also setting up its own team in the control center, particularly for incident communication. In the future, the employees - known as customer information managers - will ensure that the most consistent information possible is published via the output channels in the event of disruptions. This also means that in the future, in the event of major disruptions on the trunk line, a forecast of the duration of the disruption will be given.
Start of WLAN equipment for the vehicle fleet
With funding from the Free State, the Munich S-Bahn is equipping its vehicle fleet with free WiFi. Start is in September. All 423 vehicles are to be converted by 2022. The installation takes place as part of the ongoing modernization of the fleet. Similar to the ICE, the data networks of the three mobile phone providers are bundled for the WLAN installation. This so-called multi-provider solution enables the highest possible bandwidth. In this way, passengers can use the Internet offer regardless of their own data tariff.
Redesign of tunnel stations
The main construction work to redesign the underground S-Bahn stations on the main line has been underway since 2019. The Hauptbahnhof station will be finished this year. Work will continue on Marienplatz, Isartor and Rosenheimer Platz, and renovation work will start on Stachus. Most of the measures at the five stations on the main route are to be implemented by 2021. Among other things, the ceilings will be redesigned and the platform equipment (lighting, tactile guide strips, seating, etc.) renewed. DB is also implementing a new design concept on the columns, pillars and walls. During the renovation, the technology, e.g. for elevators and escalators, will be made fit for the next few years. DB Station & Service is investing around 60 million euros in modernizing the underground tunnel stations.
More capacity for the S-Bahn factory premises
With the commissioning of the expanded parking facility including the new electronic interlocking, DB Netz has created the conditions for more capacity and flexibility in the provision of the up to 300 rail vehicles that have to be controlled in the Steinhausen S-Bahn works. Since April, the signals and switches in the workshop area have been controlled with a click of the mouse - another important component in the modernization of the control and safety technology at the Munich railway junction. In 2019, DB Netz had already connected all important turnouts to the digital turnout diagnostics system DIANA. With the help of sensors and a digital platform, faults and wear and tear of the turnout are detected earlier and preventive measures are taken. Thanks to the new technology, the number of point faults fell by around 25 percent.
New features for the LiveMap
The proven LiveMap also comes up with some new functions. On the S-Bahn website and in the Munich Navigator app, it shows the current position of the trains on the basis of GPS data - even in the event of a fault - and the next departures with a click on a station symbol (virtual departure board). From now on, users can also find out the timetable and current arrival times by clicking on a train symbol. More information - about accessibility, the condition of the elevators and transfer options - is available by clicking on a station. Another novelty is the connection search in the “Munich Navigator” app: The punctuality information for the city's MVG means of transport has recently been integrated. This means that the current information on city traffic in Munich is displayed in the Navigator. Conversely, the live data of the S-Bahn can also be found in the information media of the MVG.
Action program "Future S-Bahn Munich"
In 2018 the action program “Future S-Bahn Munich” started. It bundles a total of up to 80 measures and is the basis until the second main line is commissioned. With "Zukunft S-Bahn Munich" the quality for the customers should be noticeably improved. The numerous measures that have already been implemented or are currently in progress include the start of the live map in the “Munich Navigator” app, the modernization of the entire vehicle fleet on behalf of the Bavarian Railway Company (BEG), and the establishment of entry guides at several train stations to shorten the stopping times of the trains at the platforms as well as the fencing of the above-ground trunk line in order to reduce the effects of incidents with “people on the track”.
In addition, the Munich S-Bahn is working on further improving the vehicle situation. In the past few months, the vehicle availability has been stabilized with the help of numerous measures. Most of the 36 ET 420 trains are now available. These so-called "Olympic trains" have been extensively modernized and technically upgraded in the past few months so that they can run through the main line and be used in the entire network of the Munich S-Bahn. The vehicles stabilize the fleet and provide more capacity for passenger operations. The modernization of the main fleet, the ET 423 trains, is meanwhile continuing at full speed. Currently more than half of the trains have been converted. Among other things, the modernized vehicles offer more space and enable a better distribution of passengers on the train.
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