Gone are the days when S-Bahn drivers could be recognized by their obviously heavy-duty rucksacks. Because the train has reinvented the on-board computer – and built it into all Berlin S-Bahn trains. During a demonstration drive on Wednesday, she demonstrated how both drivers and customers should benefit from it.
First of all, the device benefits the drivers
No longer has to lug around the one and a half kilograms of printed timetable books, says Johannes Rupprecht as he takes a seat in the driver’s cab of his train. The timetables such as deutsche bahn fahrplan are the script of his working days: from signal to signal along the route kilometers and minutes. An infinite table that has recently appeared on a computer. It’s the third screen in Rupprecht’s driver’s cab; the other two are used to dispatch and control train functions. On the new monitor, the driver can also see how he is on schedule and when he can take off the accelerator early or not be able to reach the maximum speed allowed: Why speed to the next train station at 80 km / h and stand around unnecessarily when 65 km / h is enough? The immense power consumption of a 200-ton train depends on such details, as the S-Bahn forecast shows: The system should save 25 million kilowatt-hours per year – the power consumption of 10,000 average Berlin households.
Rupprecht is now in the next train station
A countdown counts the seconds to the scheduled departure. It disappears at zero: the developers did not want to put the drivers under pressure with minus seconds so that they would not accidentally drive off in a rush when the red light appears or close a door between mother and stroller. Conversely, Rupprecht does not have to follow the computer’s tips if, for example, he knows a wheelchair user is behind him, for whom he first has to fetch the ramp at the next station, which will cost him additional time.
The advantages for the passengers are to follow step by step
For example, a function to guide service personnel with the ramp in advance to where the wheelchair user wants to get off so that it goes faster. In addition, information about trains in the area so that the driver at a transfer station knows whether he only has to wait a few seconds for a train on the neighboring track or whether he would rather watch himself get on time. All of this has to be developed and approved by the DB Kommunikationstechnik subsidiary, which takes years. But the system can really do more than its predecessor: Because S-Bahn drivers in East Berlin had an electronic power-saving assistant on board as early as the 1980s.