/ Reading: 3 min.

10. Sep 2021
/ Germany
Digital rail and on-demand rail replacement services
In Germany, up to 125 kilometres of rail are to be modernized by 2025. During the modernization, passengers will have to switch from rail to rail replacement services. This is also the case for passengers on the Stuttgart S-Bahn, while the main line there is being modernized this summer. Nevertheless, this rail replacement service is different, because: On weekends and weekend nights, it is main line offline - S-Bahn On-Demand online.

Modern and digital
Stuttgart 21 is one of the lighthouse projects in the field of digital rail. One of the most modern transportation hubs in Germany is being built here for more efficient and reliable rail transportation. For around six weeks, the S-Bahn tunnel between the main station and Vaihingen will be closed to make the line fit for the digital future. However, Stuttgart is not only a pioneering project for the digitization of rail, but also for the digitization of rail replacement service. 

Rail replacement service 2.0 
The rail network ensures a fluid daily routine, which is why even minor disruptions have a far-reaching impact. Planned and ad hoc repairs, as well as short-term disruptions to rail traffic, affect young and old on their way to work, to their educational institution and in their leisure activities. For this reason, a rail replacement service is used for the closed routes during these times.

While the digital rail hub is being expanded and modernized with the latest rail technology, Stuttgart is also using a modern and digital form of rail replacement service for the first time. Instead of the classic rail replacement service, mobility on the main traffic artery of the Baden-Württemberg state capital will be strengthened in off-peak times by on-demand traffic. This is an absolute novelty, as on-demand traffic has never been used for a rail replacement service before. The special feature of rail replacement service On-Demand is also the number of passengers: the shuttles run on demand and can combine the travel requests of up to 20 people using an algorithm.

In this project, the on-demand rail replacement service proves that even a larger number of travel requests can be optimally coordinated and bundled via the digital booking platform. It also opens new mobility options when rail lines have to be temporarily taken offline for modernization in the coming years.

Rail replacement service On-Demand is an efficient, user-focused and flexible public transport service that can be easily booked via an on-demand app or by phone. This on-demand service has been in use in Stuttgart since July 31 and will run until September 12. 

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