Dispatching in Stellwerk Wuppertal Hbf

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Before you get your approval to run the service on a signal box, you need to find out about the local characteristics. After training as a general trainee signalman, dispatchers were always paired with a person skilled in the signal box. This chapter is the brief introduction to the area. Read it carefully. It contains very important information.

The text is "peer to peer" written as if you are in the signal box, the first day after training.

Have a more detailed look at the Wuppertal Hbf panel here.


You are the dispatcher of Stellwerk Wuppertal Hbf, also known as "Ef". Wuppertal Hbf was once called "Dispatcher Elberfeld" and so it keeps its old abbreviation.

From signal box "Ef" we control two stations, namely Wuppertal Hbf itself and freight station Wuppertal-Steinbeck. Additionally, we are responsible for some lines which we'll discuss in a moment.

Any train running through the valley of Wupper will go through Wuppertal Hbf. The only exception for this is the S-Bahn S68, which ends its service in Wuppertal-Vohwinkel. In Wuppertal Steinbeck there used to be a branch line towards Wuppertal-Cronenberg. This was the so-called Cronenberger Samba but it was closed down and dismantled in 1988. We can't see anything of that line on the panel anymore.

Now let's have a look on the lines and other points of interest of our signal box:


Let's start with the red line at the bottom of the panel. This is the main line (Ferngleis) track and has line number 2550. This double track main line is the connection between Köln via Wuppertal towards Hagen. Normally only long distance and regional express trains use these tracks. On the open line there are only scheduled stops in Wuppertal-Barmen. This stop is part of the dispatching area of dispatcher "Of" Wuppertal-Oberbarmen (KWO).

Fernbahn tracks

Directly above the red line you see the green line, which is also shown in the upper part of the panel. This is the S-Bahn line. This is a double-track electrified line, which connects Wuppertal-Vohwinkel (the station the lines S8 and S9 continue into different directions) via Wuppertal Hbf with Oberbarmen (where lines S8 and RB47 continue into different directions). The S-Bahn line is used by the already mentioned services S8, S9 and RB47. The paths of each of these lines can be found in the table below.

S-Bahn tracks

Above the S-Bahn line we have the line 2726 as well as freight yard (Gbf) Steinbeck. The line 2726 is a very short single track electrified branch line connecting the Zoologischer Garten with Gbf Steinbeck. This branch line is used to getting into, or out of, the freight yard.

Strecke 2726 (Zoolog.Garten - Steinbeck Gbf)

Diverting Options

  • In case of disturbances on the S-Bahn into the direction of Oberbarmen, you can easily divert the trains over the (red) mainline (Fernbahn). However, doing so means that the S-Bahn services will have to skip their stops at Unterbarmen, as there are no platform along the Fernbahn line. The same applies for the opposite direction.
  • The same applies for disturbances on the S-Bahn towards Vohwinkel. In this case stops at Steinbeck, Zoologischer Garten and Sonnborn are not possible, as there are no platforms along the Fernbahn tracks at these stations.
  • When the Fernbahn tracks towards Oberbarmen can not be used, we can divert the trains via the S-Bahn tracks towards Oberbarmen, though this might mean that we hit the capacity limits of these tracks. Good dispatching is required here then.
  • In case of problems on Fernbahn tracks towards Vohwinkel, we could do the same as for into the direction of Oberbarmen. However, just must realise that you must redirect the trains onto the S-Bahn before they get into the station, as there are no switches after the station's platforms to do so.

Neighbouring Dispatching Areas

On the lower left you see the tracks 123/148 (S-Bahn) and the track 139/140 (Fernbahn). These 4 tracks are going to Oberbarmen. Between the main station (Hbf) and Oberbarmen, we have the halt Barmen (S-Bahn and Fernbahn) and Hp Unterbarmen (only S-Bahn). However, these two are already in the dispatching area of signal box "Of" (KWO).

On the lower right you will find the tracks 327/30 (mainline), where it goes further towards Vohwinkel (KWV). That is the next operated point is the station of Vohwinkel. The dispatcher there is located in signal box "Vpf".

You will find the tracks 341/42 on the upper right side of the panel. This is the connection of the S-Bahn to dispatching area of Vohwinkel, which is also the first station there.

Bi-directional running between Wuppertal Hbf and Vohwinkel as well as between Wuppertal Hbf and Oberbarmen is not possible.

Stations and Sidings

Bf Wuppertal Hbf (KW)

Bf Wuppertal Hbf

Wuppertal Hbf is the real heart of this panel. It has five platform tracks that lies along the two aforementioned lines. The tracks 1 and 2 are for the long-distance and regional trains. The trains of RE4 (104xx), RE7 (107XX) and RE13 (202XX) services halt here. In addition, these tracks are used for letting freight trains, running over the Fernbahn (mainline), pass throug. Track 3 is mainly used by the Regional trains of RB48 to turn around here and go back to Köln or Bonn-Mehlem. Otherwise, track 3 is also used for overhauls, in case that can not be done at Oberbarmen or Vohwinkel. The tracks 4 and 5 are for the S-Bahn trains and the RB47 trains. The S8 towards Vohwinkel has its scheduled stop on track 4, and track 5 for trains towards Oberbarmen. During weekdays (until evening), the S9 from Essen ends here and turns around on track 5. During the weekens and during the weekdays' evening hours, these service end and turn around on track 4. For the RB47 it is almost the opposite: During weekdays (until evening), these trains end here and turn around on track 4. During the weekens and during the weekdays' evening hours this service ends on track 5. From there they continue to track 23 to turn around there. Track 23 is not electrified, therefor you need to apply the FfrT for setting a route into that track. Alternatively you can let them turnaround in Steinbeck 48 or 49. However, you must then change the movement orders accordingly and notify the driver as such.

Track 79 was used to stable trains. It has been removed a long while ago. As adjustments for this change would have too much impact for the panel, it had been to decided to take the track out of order and lock it permanently on the panel.

The Wuppertal main station normally runs with auto fleeting enabled (SB), as there is not much variety in most train routes. For the few exceptions (eg, RB47 or RB48) you must not forget to set the train route before you get beaten by the auto fleeting system. You could disable the auto fleeting of the signals, if you do not feel comfortable with this during your first shifts. But remember that everything has to be done manually then. The auto fleeting of a signal can be disabled using the SBRT, but you certainly knew that already.

A little hint: If there are delays, things get pretty hectic in Wuppertal Hbf . But you should always try to stay calm ;-).

Bft W-Steinbeck Gbf (KWS G)

Bft W-Steinbeck Gbf

The freight station Steinbeck Gbf is part of the main station. The freight yard has had its best days nowadays. During the daytime there are only a handful of trains running there. For example, from Monday to Friday, a train from Köln-Kalk Gbf to W-Langerfeld has its scheduled stop here on the track 66. In case this track is closed for whatever reason you can also use any other track in the yard. Attention! Do set your routes into the freight yard in time (see table below: Vohwinkel ➜ Gbf)

The connection Bayer / WSW can be found on the right side of Gbf, which is the branching tracks from track 161. You can only set a shunt route towards this connection. The connection itself is indicated with "n. Bayer" only. WSW stands for the "Wuppertal Stadtwerke", which operates a coal power plant.

Four times a day a coal train from Duisburg-Hochfeld has to go to Bayer / WSW. It has been mentionned before that you can only set shunt routes into this connection. Of course, the arriving coal trains will have to return empty. They will come out of the connection propelled. On track 161 they turn around, and go towards track 67 as a shunt movement. From there the train continuous as a train movement via Wuppertal Hbf (Fernbahn tracks) towards Wuppertal Oberbarmen. Pay attention to the routes to be set for those trains.

In Gbf there are a couple of peculiarities with respect to the route setting.

Hbf ➜ Gbf If you want to go directly from the main station into the Gbf, the train route always ends at the high-positioned shunt signals (Ls) 48 or 49. From there it goes further as a shunt movement.
Hbf ➜ (Hp) ➜ Gbf It is also possible to get into Gbf passing the platform along track 45. However, this should be an exception. This way you can set a trainroute directly into the stabling tracks of the siding (The target signals are again high positioned Ls).
Gbf ➜ Vohwinkel An exit train route from the stabling tracks into direction of Vohwinkel is 'not' possible. A trains first needs to drive into track 161 as a shunt movement. From there it can exit as a train movement towards Vohwinkel.
Vohwinkel ➜ Gbf An entry route from Vohwinkel always ends at high-positioned shunt signal Ls 161. The remaing part of the route into the siding takes places a shunt movement.
Gbf ➜ Hbf Here you can set a train route out of the siding towards the main station (Hbf). Either, via track 45 (along platform of Steinbeck), or better via tracks 48 or 49 located just ahead of the main station.

For exit routes starting at signal R65-R69 towards the main station Hbf you can use auxiliary buttons ZT R48 (towards signal R48) and ZT R49 (towards signal R49). You can also use the auxiliary buttons for setting shunt routes to the corresponding signals. Of course, the gray instead of the gray-red buttons should be used. From here, the routes are completely set up to the target signal. In the opposite direction, you can also use the auxiliary buttons ZT 48 and ZT 49 to set the entire train route from Wuppertal Hbf towards the shunt signals 48 and 49. The same also applies here for setting shunt routes.

Bft W-Steinbeck Hp (KWS)

Bft W-Steinbeck Hp

The Steinbeck stop is also a part of our dispatching area. It is only serviced by the S-Bahn trains. By means of the two upper switches, we have a connection from here into to the freight yard which is located directly next to it. The red line on the image shows where panel is divided, but you certainly noticed that already. For simplicity, it was shown here assembled. If you are working on this area without auto fleeting enabled, you do not need to set routes from Wuppertal Hbf (signals S1, S3-S5) or Zoolog. Garden (signal R64) up to the target signal. You can use the auxiliary buttons EXT44 (=> towards signal S44 or track 44), EXS45 (=> towards signal S45 or track 45) or EXLT45 (<= towards Signal R45 or track 45) use. The routes will then be set upto the target signals. It is just to ease your life, and thus avoid needless scrolling/moving over the panel.

At Hp Steinbeck, train stops are not possible along the main line (red) since there are no platforms there.

Hp W-Zoologischer Garten (KWZ)

Hp W-Zoolog. Garten

The Hp Zoologischer Garten is a S-Bahn station, equipped with only a central platform along the (green) S-Bahn line. The S-Bahn services S8 and S9, which both run at a 20 minute intervals, have their stops here. After this station, into the direction of Wuppertal Hbf, there is a single track branch line into Steinbeck Gbf (line 2726). A train route into Steinbeck Gbf should be set in time, otherwise the auto fleeting will set its standard route further down the S-Bahn line. Alternatively, you can also turn off the auto fleeting (SB) there. S-Bahn trains being diverted over the Fernbahn tracks will have to skip their stops here, as there are no platforms along these tracks.

Hp W-Sonnborn (KWSO)

Hp W-Sonnborn

Hp Sonnborn is also an S-Bahn stop for the S8 and S9 services. It has only one island platform and is also the last location in your dispatching area. From here the tracks continue into the direction of Vohwinkel. Like Hp Zoologischer Garten, Hp Sonnborn cannot be serviced via the Fernbahn tracks as there is no platform along those tracks.

Passengers with destination Sonnborn will have to use the Schwebebahn or bus in case S-bahn trains are being redirected over the Fernbahn tracks.

Train series

Train series Type Description From To Remark
1-99 EC Internationale Fernzüge/Eurocity - - various connections
2000-2400 IC 31 Intercity - - various connections
2000-2400 IC 55 Inter City Leipzig Hbf Köln Hbf -
500-900 ICE 10 Inter City Express - - various connection
104xx RE RE 4 Dortmund Hbf Aachen Hbf -
107xx RE RE 7 Krefeld Münster -
111xx RB RB 48 Köln Hbf Wuppertal Hbf -
113xx RB RB 48 Bonn-Mehlem Wuppertal Hbf -
202xx ERB RE 13 Venlo Hamm (Westf) Eurobahn
308xx S S-Bahn S 8 Mönchengladbach Hbf / Hagen Hbf Düsseldorf Hbf / Dortmund Hbf -
318xx S S-Bahn S 8 Mönchengladbach Hbf / Hagen Hbf Düsseldorf Hbf / Dortmund Hbf -
307xx RB Regional Bahn RB 47 Remscheid-Güldenwerth Wuppertal Hbf -
317xx RB Regional Bahn RB 47 Remscheid-Güldenwerth Wuppertal Hbf -
309xx S S-Bahn S9 Wuppertal Hbf Bottrop Hbf / Haltern am See -
319xx S S-Bahn S9 Wuppertal Hbf Bottrop Hbf / Haltern am See -

Steering numbers

To enable certain automated mechanisms it is necessary to make sure each of the following train series has the correct steering number assigned:

  • Steering number 1: Long distance and regional services, using the Fernbahn tracks (ICE, EC, IC, RE4, RE7, RE13 sowie RB48 (only routes: Wuppertal Hbf <-> Köln Hbf))
  • Steering number 2: Freight trains
  • Steering number 3: S-Bahn S9 (Route: Wuppertal Hbf <-> Bottrop Hbf <-> Haltern am See)
  • Steering number 4: RegionalBahn RB48 (only Routes: Wuppertal Hbf <-> Bonn-Mehlem)
  • Steering number 8: S-Bahn S8/5 (Route: Mönchengladbach Hbf <-> Wuppertal-Oberbarmen <-> Hagen Hbf <-> Dortmund Hbf)
  • No Steering number: RB47 (Route: Wuppertal Hbf <-> Remscheid-Güldenwerth (Müngstner Brücke) <-> Solingen Hbf)

Trains to and from Solingen Hbf via Remscheid do not have a steering number


Short Name Full Name
EHG Hagen Hbf
KGUI Gruiten
KGVK Gevelsberg-Kipp
KGVW Gevelsberg West
KHOL Hochdahl (Abzw)
KHOM Hochdahl-Millrath
KW Wuppertal Hbf
KWBA Wuppertal-Barmen
KWO Wuppertal-Oberbarmen
KWS Wuppertal-Steinbeck Pbf
KWS G Wuppertal-Steinbeck Gbf
KWSO Wuppertal-Sonnborn
KWU Wuppertal-Unterbarmen
KWV Wuppertal-Vohwinkel
KWZ Wuppertal Zoologischer Garten

Location names

Location names Wuppertal Hbf

Location name Track
Wuppertal Bahnsteig 1
Wuppertal Bahnsteig 2
Wuppertal Bahnsteig 3
Wuppertal Bahnsteig 4
Wuppertal Bahnsteig 5
Wuppertal Ost 79
Wuppertal Ost 123
Wuppertal Ost 133
Wuppertal West 23
Wuppertal West 31AT
Wuppertal West 31BT
Wuppertal West 33
Wuppertal West 34

Track Lengths

Wuppertal Hbf

Track Length (m)
Wuppertal Hbf 1 390
Wuppertal Hbf 2 390
Wuppertal Hbf 3 360
Wuppertal Hbf 4 250
Wuppertal Hbf 5 260

Wuppertal-Steinbeck Pbf

Track Length (m)
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 3 280
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 4 170

Wuppertal-Steinbeck Gbf

Track Length (m)
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 48 140
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 49 220
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 65 430
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 66 430
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 67 390
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 68 390
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 69 390
Wuppertal-Steinbeck 161 540

Wuppertal Zoologischer Garten

Track Length (m)
Wuppertal-Zoologischer Garten 3 690
Wuppertal-Zoologischer Garten 4 590


Track Length (m)
Wuppertal-Sonnborn 3 800
Wuppertal-Sonnborn 4 830


Track Length (m)
Wuppertal-Unterbarmen 3 680
Wuppertal-Unterbarmen 4 670
Wuppertal-Unterbarmen 5 650


Track Length (m)
Wuppertal-Barmen 1 1340
Wuppertal-Barmen 2 1350
Wuppertal-Barmen 3 1050
Wuppertal-Barmen 4 1350

This simulation is part of the Wuppertal series | Wuppertal-Oberbarmen | Wuppertal Hbf | Wuppertal-Vohwinkel | Düsseldorf-Gerresheim