ÖBB modernises Linz Central Station with Interlocking System Technology from Thales

Picture: © Christian Wirth


The interlocking system at Linz central station is one of the largest interlocking systems in Austria; up to now it was realized in relay technology. However, it had already reached the limits of its technical capability and was no longer expandable. With ever-increasing railway traffic under maximum safety conditions, ÖBB places high requirements on the punctuality of its trains and consequently on the operational availability of its infrastructure. The new electronic interlocking system at Linz central station will now meet these requirements, thanks to the latest technology from Thales.

Involving 232 switches and 507 light signals, this project was also above all an enormous logistical challenge for all participants. In order to keep the effects on the running traffic to a minimum, the commissioning of the new interlocking system and the simultaneous integration in the Operation Control Centre took place during running operation. Within ten days all elements were integrated into the new interlocking in 16 sub-phases by several construction squads working in shifts from 9 August to 19 August. With a total duration of two years, the project could successfully be finished in time.

“Through more than 100 customers in over 50 countries, Thales falls back on many years of experience in the railway sector. With ÖBB we have a long-term partnership. We therefore are proud to have supported ÖBB in another milestone in the implementation of one of the world's most advanced operation management concepts – with technology «Made in Austria»"

Hannes Boyer, CEO Thales in Austria


"The centralisation of the Austrian rail traffic in five control centres is an important element for the increase in efficiency in the framework of the ÖBB digitisation strategy. The electronic interlocking system is the heart of this centralised operational management and ensures a high degree of automation. The new interlocking system in Linz is at the same time the prerequisite for the four-track expansion of the West Line towards Salzburg and the resulting increase in capacity on this important line for national as well as international rail traffic, which is why the modernization was given a particularly high priority."

Christian Sagmeister, Head of Division Railway Systems,
ÖBB Infrastruktur AG


As one of the most important stations in Austria in terms of traffic, the Linz central station has been upgraded to the latest interlocking system technology. For Thales it is one of the largest interlocking systems in the world. The technical realisation of such complex projects requires high performance capacities of the IT infrastructure as well as top professional expertise and a trustful cooperation with the customer.


„We are pleased that we were able to implement this complex project at Linz Main Station through the professional cooperation with the Thales team within the planned time. The new interlocking system is an important prerequisite for being able to offer our rail customers on the West axis even more and even better service in the future."

Franz Bauer, Member of the Board, ÖBB Infrastruktur AG


Information about the electronic interlocking system from Thales
Austria is the country with the highest density of electronic interlocking systems. Thales is the market leader in Austria in the development of this technology and supports the Austrian Federal Railways in the nationwide roll-out of electronic interlocking systems. The electronic interlocking systems from Thales with technology from Austria (ELEKTRA) are also operated in Hungary, Bulgaria and Switzerland. ELEKTRA ensures the highest level of safety (SIL4) and availability. It provides functions such as remote control, automatic train control and shunting management as well as standardised interfaces to further peripheral systems.