Dispatching in Zentralstellwerk Karlsruhe 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.

The simulation help files include PDF files, which (among other things) include the following information:

  • Stabling plan for locomotives for the entire week
  • Stabling plan for Stadtbahn trains for the entire week
  • Shunt plan of the switchers
  • Overview shunt movements of the PbZ trains
  • Scheduled shunt movement towards Gbf
  • Freight trains out of RETL or RFM which can also be routed via the main station.

This information is important for those wanting to be effective dispatchers in Karlsruhe.

Have a more detailed look at the Sp Dr S 60-Zentralstellwerk karlsruhe Hbf panel here.

Zentralstellwerk Karlsruhe Hbf


Welcome to Zentralstellwerk Karlsruhe Hbf (Kf)!

My name is Andreas and will be giving you a personal tour of the Karlsruhe dispatching panel. I will also give you a brief overview of the different areas that you will be responsible for while dispatching traffic here.

The SpDrS60 interlocking system was first put into operation on November 11, 1979. It replaced the previous system which had been in use since 1913, where there were signal boxes 1, 2 and 3 on the East side of the station, and signal boxes 4, 5 and 6 were on the West side. These were all the old system of interlocking - E43. Between tracks 7 and 8 there was a command post which was replaced. It was here that two dispatchers sat, as well as the track occupancy detectors for the platform tracks.

The switch-over took place in two stages. First, R1 near the factories was possessed and then two or three weeks later, the panel was partially ready Saturday night. The signal box was then fully ready on Sunday morning. Over the years there were further modifications to the train station and the panel. For example, tracks 15 and 16 were taken out but tracks 13 and 14 were added. Also the buffer-end tracks were dismantled in the area of ​​tracks 1/2 and 3/4, as were tracks 104 and 196. The connection to Albtalbahnhof also took place later. Track 241 was not built until later, which is why for example the route from Karlsruhe West to Track 1 (121/021) still leads through the sections 142 and 122 and you have to go with UFGT via 241/220 to track 2 so as to not block things.

There's usually always something going on here. At night, it's less busy but then again, there's all the freight traffic between Dammerstock and Brunnenstück (controlled via the Fax system).


We are dealing with a total of 6 lines. They are:

  • Line 700: Mannheim - Karlsruhe
  • Line 702: Karlsruhe - Rastatt || This includes the routes Karlsruhe-Rastatt via Ettlingen West and Forchheim.
  • Line 676: Neustadt a.d. Weinstraße - Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe neighbouring West)
  • Line 701: Heidelberg - Karlsruhe (Northern route to Karlsruhe Durlach)
  • Line 770: Pforzheim - Karlsruhe (Southern route to Karlsruhe Durlach)
  • Add to that the route from Albtalbahnhof to line 702

Karlsruhe Hagsfeld - Karlsruhe Hbf

The route to Hagsfeld connects our station with the station of Hagsfeld, which is remotely controlled by the interlocking in Blankenloch. The route continues over Graben-Neudorf towards Mannheim. LZB cab signalling is in use until the entrance signals. Track speeds here are 160km/h or 200km/h, just to keep things running quickly. As with all neighbours, there are panel numbers that give a preview of which trains are on the way. GWB (bi-directional working) is active here.


Karlsruhe Durlach - Karlsruhe Hbf

The route between Durlach and the main station consists of 4 tracks. Here GWB is set up everywhere. The upper tracks are the Southern line, while the lower tracks are the Northern line. It is quite possible to send trains on the wrong line. However, this should be done only in exceptional cases. There are comments in the timetable for these trains.


Karlsruhe Albtalbahnhof - Karlsruhe Hbf

Here we have a real peculiarity. Here the S-Bahn trains are running their services on the DB Netz network with rolling stock of the Stadtbahn (Lightrail). Since the Stadtbahn network is using a different power system, the risk exists that train movement other than those of the Stadtbahn are directed to this Stadtbahn network. For this reason, a safety device in front of the entry signals out of the direction of Abzw. Dammerstock and Karlsruhe West is applied. Before those entry signals are coils that are installed in the tracks, which respond only to Stadtbahn trains. When the track is occupied by a Stadtbahn train a panel indicator "S" next to the entry signal will be lit. Only then a train route into track 225 can be set. On the image we can see the four entry signals to which this procedure applies. A train into the direction of Albtalbahnhof is near ESig G372 and has already activated the "S"-indicator. Thus, we can now set a route 372225. When the indicator does not lit, we can only let the entry signal show aspect Zs1 or submit a written order to the driver to allow him to pass the signal.


The connection towards Albtalbahnhof is shown in the image below. Exit signal (ASig) P225 is equipped with an auto fleeting towards track 227. in the simulation, the dispatcher AVG (Albtal Verkehrs Gesellschaft) offers the train movements from Albtalbahnhof to Hbf. Offered trains should always be accepted, even when track 226 is still occupied by another train, otherwise problems could arise. Additionally we have to set the train number in train number box 226 manually. In reality, the train driver will contact our signal box when he is on his way from Hbf's stations forecourt, as a dispatcher AVG for this purpose doesn't exist. For the latter reason, train and shunt movement towards Albtalbahnhof do not need to be offered. The challenge is integrating and separating the Stadtbahn trains from the other traffic to and from Forchheim or Karlsruhe West. Shunt movements between the Albtalbahnhof and Karlsruhe Hbf also take place, which mostly change direction on track 182 or 284. Here the necessary alertness is required.


Karlsruhe Hbf - Forchheim

This line connects us to our neighbouring station Forchheim. The signalbox in Forchheim is a mechanical signalbox. GWB is only possible on the track Forchheim-> Abzw Dammerstock. The need for GWB on both tracks was once anticipated, but was ultimately never implemented. Be aware that train movements in GWB (running on the wrong line), like train movements from the main station or Gbf towards Ettlingen West, requires the permission of two dispatchers. When the Gbf wants to send a train via the wrong line, that train can only ride towards Forchheim on the wrong line as well. This also applies to similar movements into the direction of Ettlingen West. The signal Bksig 378 at Abzw. Dammerstock is provided with auto fleeting, which reacts to steering number 1 (towards Hbf) and 2 (direction Gbf).

A peculiarity here is the ability to set super routes from entry signals ESig G371 and G372, as well as block signals 371 and 372. Exit routes as i.e. 003377 or entry route 3780003 can be set at once. The Bksig and ESig will then sequentially be set to proceed.


Karlsruhe Hbf - Karlsruhe West

The line towards our neighbour Karlsruhe West is a little quieter. Passenger services are operated almost exclusively on this line. The signal box in Karlsruhe West is staffed locally and is an S60 system. GWB is established here on both tracks.


Karlsruhe Hbf - Ettlingen West

This line connects us to our neighbouring station Ettlingen West. The signalbox in Ettlingen West is S60 signalbox, which is remotely controlled from a central traffic control centre (BZ). GWB is established on both tracks. Be aware that train movements in GWB (running on the wrong line), like train movements from the main station or Gbf towards Forchheim, requires the permission of two dispatchers. When the Gbf wants to send a train on the wrong line, this train has also to run on the wrong line towards Ettlingen West. This is also applies for the reverse direction. The signal Bksig 390 at Abzw. Brunnenstück is provided with auto fleeting, which reacts to steering number 1 (towards Hbf) and 2 (direction Gbf).

A peculiarity here is the ability to set super routes from entry signals ESig H381 and H382, as well as block signals 381 and 382. Exit routes, for example, 003389 or entry route 390006 can be set at once. The Bksig and ESig will then sequentially be set to proceed.


The main station (Hbf)

The section with the platform tracks at the central station (Hbf) is the heart of our signal box. From here the routes towards Rastatt, Karlsruhe West, Karlsruhe-Durlach and Hagsfeld begin.

We have a total of 16 platform tracks at the main station, namely the dead-end tracks 101 and 102 (221/222) on the western side of the station building Maxaubahnhofs, and through tracks are tracks 1 to 14. Tracks 1, 4 and 9 to 13 all have "Zugdeckungs" signals dividing those platform tracks into two sections, so that two trains can stand together along the platform. Platform 14 is divided by means of a Lichtsperrsignal (Ls), dividing it in sections 034 and 134. Ls 134 can also function as target for trains heading west. However, track section 034 lies outside the platform, so passenger trains can only have their stops on track section 134. Therefore, train routes from the East have to be set up to Ls 134.

A special peculiarity is the use of the end buttons on tracks 2 and 3. When using the ZT2 end button for train routes towards N2 and P3, an exit route starting at those signals can not be set immediately. The reason for this is that there once was a crossing for luggage carts, and for the securing an overlap route of the "fast" entry route with ZT2, only the entry route is allowed, and not the exit route. As soon as track section 002 respectively 003 is occupied, the last tile in front of the corresponding exit signal starts to blink for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds it changes to a solid light, and only then an exit route can be set. Use of a shorter overlap route with a lower entry speed allows immediate setting of the exit route.

The main signals at the end of the platforms are all exit signals. Some of them have more than one end buttons for different overlap routes. An overview of the various number of overlap routes is shown in the section "End buttons and overlap routes at exit signals".

In the platform area, we also have some dead-end tracks for shunt movements. In the image of Hbf, we can see tracks 440, 445 and 446. Here, as well as on the other side of the platforms (tracks 195, 192, 191 and 190) locomotives are being stabled. There are also shunt movements between these tracks and Stellwerk 6 (tracks 165, 186 and 206), yard where the locomotives pick up their trains, or just to return back shortly after arrival in the area of ​​Stw6 with a new train composition to be placed along the platform. The tracks 431, 433 and 434 on bottom left are mainly used for the stabling of maintenance vehicles. At the top we see the tracks 470-472, and 905 to 907. There, trains are occasionally stabled as well. Especially in the eastern part of the station, setting shunt routes between the Lichtsperrsignale (Ls) (shunt signals) do not support "super"routes. Here, shunt routes have to be set from Ls to Ls.

Routes to the south (RFM and RETL) should not be set too early, to avoid unnecessarily blocking the various shunt movements between stabling yard West (Stw6 - 165/186/206) and the main station. In this section relatively short time windows are available for each train or shunt movement.


Abstellgruppe Ost

In Abstellgruppe Ost (stabling area East) has many sidings that (how could it be otherwise?) are used for the stabling of trains. Not only for the stabling of single locomotives, but also for stabling train sets. In the morning and in the evening some Stadtbahn trains are also stabled here. The stabling yard was once operated from the former signal box 1, which explains why this part of the panel has a light gray background. Depending on the time of day, the stabling yard was operated by a signalman from the main station or from signal box 1 by a local switchman. From the moment signal box 1 was no longer used, the control of this area was completely taken over by the main station's signal box.

The "passing siding" 060 on the far left leads to the freight station Karlsruhe Gbf. Here, therefore shunting place between Hbf and Gbf, although this is rare. The Lichtsperrsignale (Ls) in the light gray area do not support "super"routes. Here shunt routes have to be set from Ls to Ls.

When simulating the weekend of July 11 and 12, 2015, you will have plenty to do here, there are lots of special trains for the festival-goers.

Abstellgruppe West

Abstellgruppe West (stabling area West) as the name suggests, contains a lot of tracks for stabling locos but mostly for train sets. Here, you'll usually find IC trains in reserve. This area used to be controlled by the former signal box 1, which is why it has a light grey background on the panel. It used to be that, depending on the time of day, signal box 1 would operate the interlocking there, or the main signal box would instead. Since signal box 1 is no longer staffed, the main signal box has now taken over control completely.

Track 060 leads to the freight depot. Via this track, there can be shunting operations between the freight depot and the main station, but this is a rare occurrence. The shunt signals (Ls) in the light grey area do not allow setting "super routes." in this case a shunt route must always be set from Ls to Ls.

End buttons and overlap routes at exit signals

End button Description Vmax (km/h)
.P21 Overlap route towards track 022 for routes towards RKHA/RKDU. Vmax 40
.P21L Overlap route straight on towards switch 032 to avoid blocking routes into track 2. Vmax 40
.P2k (Signal button) Short overlap route up to switch W040. Routes to/from track 1 (021/121) and track 3 will not be blocked. Vmax 40
.P2r Overlap route towards switch 043 for continuation towards RKHA/RKDU. Vmax 60
.P2l Overlap route towards switch 036 for continuation towards RKHA in GWB or alternative route towards RKHA/RKDU.
Track 3 is not blocked, however can be entered with a Vmax 60.
Vmax 60
.P3k (Signal button) Short overlap route up to switch 043, to diverge towards RKDU without having to revoke the overlap route. Vmax 60
.P3l Allowing faster entry speed, up to switch 027 for routing towards RKHA or alternative route towards RKDU.
Train routes starting at P3 can be set 30 seconds after the track section has been occupied.
Vmax 130
.P24k (Signal button) Short overlap route up to switch 041 to avoid blocking setting routes into tracks 1-3 towards RKDU. Vmax 40
.P24r Overlap route up to switch 026 for continuation towards RKDU. Vmax 60
.P24l Overlap route up to switch 027 for continuation towards RKHA or alternative route towards RKDU. Vmax 60
.P5 Overlap route up to switch 049CD. Vmax 60
.P6k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 052 to avoid blocking routes to/from track 5. Vmax 40
.P6l Overlap route up to switch 048 for continuation towards RKHA/RKDU. Vmax 40/60
.P7k (Signal button) Overlap route up to track 077 for continuation towards RKDU/RKHA.
Routes to/from track 8 will not be blocked.
Vmax 60
.P7l Short overlap route up to switch 056 for continuation towards RKDU/RKHA. Vmax 60/80
.P8k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 057 to avoid blocking routes to/from tracks 7 and 9. Vmax 40
.P8r Overlap route up to switch 053 voor verder rijden naar RKDU (southern tracks). Vmax 60/80
.P8l Overlap route up to track 027 voor verder rijden naar RKDU (northern track)/RKHA. Vmax 60
.P29k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 066 to avoid blocking routes to/from track 8. Vmax 40
.P29l Overlap route up to track 049 for continuation towards RKDU northern tracks). Vmax 60/80
.P30 Overlap route up to switch 061 for continuation towards RKDU/RKHA. Vmax 60
.P31 Overlap route up to switch 061 for continuation towards RKDU/RKHA. Vmax 60
.P31r Overlap route up to switch 062 to avoid blocking routes to/from track 10. Vmax 60
.P32 Overlap route up to switch 220. Vmax 40
.P33 Overlap route up to switch 225. Vmax 40
.Ls 134I Overlap route up to switch 238. Vmax 40
.P34 Overlap route up to switch 225. Vmax 40
.N121 Overlap route up to switch 135 to avoid blocking routes to/from track 2.
Setting a route towards RFM and RKW without having to revoke the overlap route is only possible by using UFGT.
Vmax 60
.N121L Overlap route up to switch 135 for continuation towards RETL/RFM (and RKW without UFGT). Vmax 40
.N2k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 137 for continuation towards RETL. Vmax 40
.N2L Overlap route up to switch 142 voor verder rijden naar RFM/RKW.
Train routes starting at N2 can be set 30 seconds after the track section has been occupied.
Vmax 100
.N3 Overlap route up to switch 130. Vmax 40/60
.N124 Overlap route up to switch 026 for continuation towards RKDU. Vmax 40
.N5k (Signal button) Overlap route up to track 555 to avoid blocking route to/from track 6. Vmax 40
.N5l Overlap route up to switch 121. Vmax 60
.N6k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 120 to avoid blocking routes to/from track 5. Vmax 40
.N6r Overlap route up to switch 122 (diverging right) for continuation towards RFM and RKW. Vmax 100
.N6l Overlap route up to switch 122 (diverging left) for continuation towards RETL. Vmax 100
.N7 Overlap route up to switch 116 to avoid blocking routes RETL<->tracks 1-6. Vmax 40
.N7l Overlap route up to switch 118. Vmax 100
.N8k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 112 to allow setting shunt routes into track 128. Vmax 40
.N8l Overlap route up to track 128. Vmax 100
.N129k (Signal button) Overlap route up to switch 111 to avoid blocking routes to/from tracks 8 and 10-14. Vmax 40
.N129l Overlap route up to switch 113. Vmax 80
.N130 Overlap route up to switch 108. Vmax 40
.N131 Overlap route up to switch 108. Vmax 40
.N132 Overlap route up to switch 106. Vmax 40
.N133 Overlap route up to switch 105. Vmax 40
.N134 Overlap route up to switch 105. Vmax 40
.N134l Overlap route up to switch 102 to avoid blocking routes to/from tracks 12 and 13. Vmax 40

Overview Offering Trains via ZNP801

More Information : ZNP801

ZNP801 RK.png

Track Offering field Neighbour [F-Key] Example
339 A 339 KDU [F3] 123456 KDU 339 ANB
352 A 352 KDU [F3] 456789 KDU 352 ANB
345 A 345 KDU [F3] 123456 KDU 345 ANB
348 A 348 KDU [F3] 456789 KDU 348 ANB
354 A 360 BAN [F4] 123456 BAN 360 ANB
355 A 353 BAN [F4] 456789 BAN 353 ANB
361 A 361 KW [F8] 123456 KW 361 ANB
362 A 362 KW [F8] 456789 KW 362 ANB
377 A 377 FM [F7] 123456 FM 377 ANB
378 A 378 FM [F7] 456789 FM 378 ANB
373 A 373 RKR [F5] 123456 RKR 373 ANB
374 A 374 RKR [F5] 456789 RKR 374 ANB
383 A 383 RKR [F5] 123456 RKR 383 ANB
384 A 384 RKR [F5] 456789 RKR 384 ANB
389 A 391 ETL [F6] 123456 ETL 391 ANB
390 A 392 ETL [F6] 456789 ETL 392 ANB
165 - Stw 6 Tel.
186 - Stw 6 Tel.
206 - Stw 6 Tel.
261 - AVG Tel.
262 - AVG Tel.


Karlsruhe Hbf : Destinations used in the timetable

Short Name Full Name
RBRU Abzw. Karlsruhe Brunnenstück
RDA Abzw. Karlsruhe-Dammerstock
RETL Ettlingen West
RFM Forchheim (b Karlsruhe)
RK Karlsruhe Hbf
RK W Karlsruhe Abstellgruppe West
RKDU Karlsruhe-Durlach
RKAB Karlsruhe Albtalbahnhof
RKHA Karlsruhe-Hagsfeld
RKR Karlsruhe Gbf
RKW Karlsruhe West
RRA Rastatt

Track Lengths

Karlsruhe Hbf

Track Length (m)
Karlsruhe Hbf 1 485
Karlsruhe Hbf 2 441
Karlsruhe Hbf 3 448
Karlsruhe Hbf 4 445
Karlsruhe Hbf 5 459
Karlsruhe Hbf 6 371
Karlsruhe Hbf 7 492
Karlsruhe Hbf 8 472
Karlsruhe Hbf 9 412
Karlsruhe Hbf 10 470
Karlsruhe Hbf 11 490
Karlsruhe Hbf 12 582
Karlsruhe Hbf 13 492
Karlsruhe Hbf 14 676
Karlsruhe Hbf 101 112
Karlsruhe Hbf 102 219
Abstellgleise Hbf
Karlsruhe Hbf 191 101
Karlsruhe Hbf 192 40
Karlsruhe Hbf 195 173
Karlsruhe Hbf 440 91
Karlsruhe Hbf 442 136
Karlsruhe Hbf 445 110
Karlsruhe Hbf 446 50
Karlsruhe Hbf 447 82
Karlsruhe Hbf 488 287
Karlsruhe Hbf 489 142
Wendegleise Hbf
Karlsruhe Hbf 026 46
Karlsruhe Hbf 027 155
Karlsruhe Hbf 048 87
Karlsruhe Hbf 068 55
Karlsruhe Hbf 075 133
Karlsruhe Hbf 127 107
Karlsruhe Hbf 128 50
Karlsruhe Hbf 145 80
Karlsruhe Hbf 163 95
Karlsruhe Hbf 166 50
Karlsruhe Hbf 167 100
Karlsruhe Hbf 168 100
Abstellgruppe Ost
Karlsruhe Hbf 450 137
Karlsruhe Hbf 453 270
Karlsruhe Hbf 454 303
Karlsruhe Hbf 455 265
Karlsruhe Hbf 456 264
Karlsruhe Hbf 457 367
Karlsruhe Hbf 458 343
Karlsruhe Hbf 459 274
Karlsruhe Hbf 460 360
Karlsruhe Hbf 461 354
Karlsruhe Hbf 462 294
Karlsruhe Hbf 463 284
Karlsruhe Hbf 464 168
Karlsruhe Hbf 465 134
Karlsruhe Hbf 468 84
Karlsruhe Hbf 476 109
Karlsruhe Hbf 470 210
Karlsruhe Hbf 471 193
Karlsruhe Hbf 472 253

Auto fleeting

Signal Type Target
Bf Karlsruhe
Sig 371 SB-D n.Fo
Sig 373 SB-D n.Fo
Sig P225 SB-D Sig 227
Sig 390 SB-R 1 : Sig H382
2 : n.RKR
Sig 383 SB-D n.Etl.
Sig 381 SB-D n.Etl.
Sig 378 SB-R 1 : Sig G372
2 : n.Gbf

Information about the timetable


The simulation is based on the timetable of 2015. Planned changes in the schedule due to work on the various sections are not included. For passenger trains, the usual timetable has been applied. Different times, different destinations or train formations which occurred just one or a few days a year are not included in the timetable. However, special trains which only run on a few specific days or only run in a certain period are included in this timetable.

Orient-Express 03-05, 24-05, 04-10 en 25-10-2015
Radexpress Murgtäler 01-05 – 18-10-2015 Sun; 06-06, 18-07., 01-08-2015 Sat
Felsenlandexpress 02-05 – 25-10-2015 Sat, Sun
Rheintal-Express 01-05 – 25-10-2015 Sun
Bügelfahrten 01-12-2014 – 28-02-2015; 01-12-2015 – 29-02-2016

Some freight trains only run during a specific period.

The timetable in Karlsruhe varies every day. There are differences for certain trains every single day. The stabling of locomotives and trains differs each day as well.

Track 11

During the timetable of 2015, track 11 of Karlsruhe Hbf was permanently out of service. Therefore no scheduled train movements to and from track 11 are present in the timetable. This closure causes some slight delays with respect to arrivals and departures on the tracks 9, 10 and 12 up to 14.

Those who choose not to use the timetable of 2015, can decide to divert trains to track 11.

Meanwhile (as of November 2015) track 11 has been bought back into service, and since then track 12 has been permanently taken out of service. For those who want to simulate this situation, the trains which are scheduled on track 12 can be scheduled on track 11 instead.  

Freight trains

Freight trains are generally routed through the shunt yard (Gbf). However, some trains run through the passenger station (Hbf), and some of them also have a scheduled short stop there. Instead of using the planned drive-through tracks for this purpose, the dispatcher might choose divert the train to another track, if needed.

The train compositions are based on published train spots on the Internet.

Stabling of ICE-trains

Some ICE-trains end in Karlsruhe HBF in the evenings and at night. Because these trains, unlike the IC-trains, cannot be cleaned in the Westgruppe (stabling yard West), this must be done somewhat impractically on track 457 of the stabling yard East. There is a cleaning system which moves along the ICE wagon by wagon which takes approximately 45-50 minutes for an ICE-A (or about 20 minutes for ICE-T). This slow cleaning movement is simulated using a movement order. In addition, track 457 is a little too short for an ICE-A.

The movement order causes the train to slow down when it reaches track 457. From there it will continue at minimum speed and keep that speed as long as any part of the train is occupying track 457. During this process, track sections adjacent to track 457 will be occupied for a long time as well. The time that such a "slow ride" takes is fairly close to reality. Once the train no longer occupies track 457, the train will take up some speed and will halt in front of Ls 905, after which the train can be routed further into the Westgruppe. Since there are only two very long tracks which can hold an ICE-A, ICE 273 should be kept on track 905 during weekdays until the ICE 3, arriving around 2:00pm from the Westgruppe, has headed to track 2 where it remains until its departure the following morning.

Stabling of IC-trains

Almost all IC trains begin and end in Karlsruhe HBF. Trains from Nuremberg generally turn around at the platform. Almost all the others are send to the Westgruppe with their trainloc. After about 15 minutes the locomotive singly returns from the Westgruppe, and is stabled on one of the sidings for locomotives. The locomotive remains there until the new driver (or the old driver) shows up for its next service. The new driver shows up about 45 minutes before the next service. The loc will need to go the Westgruppe to pick up the new train. The complete train heading to its departure platform will arrive from the Westgruppe at about 20 minutes before the eventual departure.

When playing with a large delays, it may happen that the locomotive of a strong delayed IC train is already announced from the Westgruppe, while the IC train itself has yet to arrive. In such cases, the departure time of the locomotive from the Westgruppe is automatically delayed. The locomotive will arrive from the Westgruppe 15 to 20 minutes the IC train has arrived there. The same applies to trains waiting in the Westgruppe for its locomotive. Only a few trains (i.e. IC 2374) use the same loc as the one use by the arriving train. When such trains are delayed, you will also noticed that its succeeding train is being delayed. So don’t be surprised when shortly before deaprture time trains are delayed minute by minute.

Changing locomotives at the platform tracks

Some IC trains are temporarily stabled in stabling yard East. In these cases the train loco uncouples and immediately drives to the stabling yard, while the cars are picked up by a switcher to take them to the stabling tracks. The placement of cars, with one exception (Mon - Fri), is also done by a switcher.

In one case (Friday) the train loco will be forwarded directly for its next service. The cars are transferred to the Westgruppe by a shunter.

On Monday and Friday the train locomotive of train EN 452 is exchanged in Karlsruhe. Ten minutes are planned for this operation. In order to achieve this time, the new train loco is occupied with staff in time and routed to a waiting track nearby before the train arrives. On Monday - though this is not the intention - the arriving locomotive on the stabling yard (Lok KpRes) is occupied with staff (Lok KpRes). The staff should be "sent into the canteen" in this case.

For PbZ-D trains a loco exchange at the platform is anticipated also or else a second locomotive is added. 

Stabling of locomotives

In Karlsruhe, the stabling plan for locomotives (where all the details are listed) is valid until the next day and changes every single day.

In the simulation the timetable for Karlsruhe has a regular plan for the stabling of locomotives. However, the stabling plan varies every day of the week (see PDF "Loco Stabling Plan"). The stabling of locomotives is planned as such that even after saving and then continuing (also after midnight) no locomotive will block another locomotive.

Of course everyone can deviate from the proposed stabling plan, and then choose any siding (except track 190) for stabling. The movement orders will then have to be amended and it is therefore important, in the case of multiple track occupation, that the trains are stabled in the correct order.

All locomotives which are stabled in the stabling area during the night are listed in the timetable's list of "stabled Trains" and will be placed at the correct position at start of simulation (sometime after 00: 01). During the day, when starting the simulation, only those locomotives which will be idle for more than an hour and to be used on the same day, are implemented in the stabling plan.

Locomotives which are stabled during the day for about one hour, are routed via either track 191 or 192. Locomotives stabled at track 195, all have - to simplify the preparation on the correct location at the track 195 - movement orders with an approach via track 101.

To ensure that locomotives which are on different tracks stabled on different days are only stabled where they are needed, these locomotives have different names with the addition of the workday.

If huge delays (see chapter 5, 2nd paragraph) lead to the "overhauling" during the stabling for the night, then the dispatcher can delay the departure of the next, and later arriving locomotive from the Westgruppe as such, that the sequence of stabling is correct again or by changing the number of the locomotive so that the subsequent movement orders are correct again.

Stabling of DB Regio-trains

All ET- and VT trains of DB Regio are stabled in a specific area of the Westgruppe, which is accessible via track 206.

The double-decker trains are taken over by a shunt driver at the platform and then stabled on tracks 454 and 455, during the weekend also on track 459. The next morning, these trains are shunted to the platform track again by a shunt driver again. During the weekend a double-decker train is stabled for about two hours.

The double-decker trains are normally cleaned on track 456 or 457. In contrast to the ICE, these trains come to a stop. The cleaning is only included in the timetable, when no transition to a new day is taking place. (e.g., RE 19556-D in the weekend). Anyone who wishes to, can add the necessary movement orders themselves for other trains to be cleaned.  

Stabling of Light Rail trains (Stadtbahn)

Between about 7:00 and 12:00, as well as between 18:00 to 24:00, up to three articulated railcars (GT) of the Stadtbahn (with two exceptions during the night) are being stabled on tracks 450, 455, 456 and 471 (see PDF "Stabling Plan City Light Rail"). Some of these trains are split and combined on these tracks. The trains are staffed on time, so there is sufficient time for the shunt movements towards the platform track. The new staff will contact the dispatcher immediately. To make this work as such, an existing function is used, which was actually designed to issue new movement orders. The displayed text is also somewhat misleading, but it is sufficient for this purpose. Always respond in the negative to the driver’s question, otherwise the movement orders are removed.

Trains which are split after their arrival on the stabling track and being kept staffed, will have their next service in fairly short time. The movement to and from the stabling area takes place both via the east side and the west side, depending on where the train is located on the stabling track.

Of course, the dispatcher can also opt to stable these trains on other tracks. In that case, all movement orders for these trains, for trains which later on combine with these trains and shunt consists, will need an entirely new set of movement orders. It is discouraged to do this, unless absolute chaos is desired.


On track 190 there is a switcher of type BR 363. It has fixed movement orders, which vary each day.

  • Pick up and place IC wagons along the platform
  • Shunting wagons from stabling yard East and the Westgruppe and vice versa
  • Shunting of the PbZ-D trains at the platform or in the stabling yard
  • Refuelling

Between its daily operation, the locomotive can be activated by the dispatcher, and used as needed by the dispatcher. It is important to assign the locomotive its original name again afterwards, so that the orders of the next planned movement orders (see PDF "Deployment of switcher") will be present again. When starting the simulation after the last planned deployment, the locomotive (with the weekday as an additional name) is stabled on track 190 and available for any operation where needed.

PbZ-D trains

Four times a week a PbZ-D train stops in Karlsruhe. These trains will have their locomotive and/or car being exchanged in Karlsruhe, either with or without the help of the switcher. Exact details are available in the PDF "List of PbZ-D trains".  


In Karlsruhe an IC train is regularly kept as a hub-reserve (KpRes). This train is generally stabled on track 461 of stabling yard East. On Tuesday, it is stabled in the Westgruppe, on Wednesday it goes to Basel Bad Bf and it returns on Thursday.

Of course, the dispatcher can decide to put the Hub-reserve into service. In that case he needs to direct another available train towards track 457, which will then act the new Hub-reserve.

Stabling yard East

During the day, tracks 450, 455 and 456 are used for the stabling of the Stadtbahn trains. The Hub-reserve (KpRes) is stabled on track 461. The double-decker trains are stabled on tracks 454, 455 and 459 during the night. Tracks 453 and 458, as well as track 460 in the night from Saturday to Sunday, are assigned for the IC cars. Track 457 should be kept free as drive-through track. Other trains (other than those mentioned here) which are stabled by the dispatcher can be stabled on track 460 or 463.

Turning around at the east side

All trains turning around on the east side do this on track 060 (connecting track to the freight station [Gbf]). Tuesdays to Fridays is at 05:05, a BR 101 arrives on this track from the Gbf for the next service (IC train). Since this is the only scheduled movement between Gbf and Hbf, communication is not needed. The dispatcher should make sure that no other shunt movements (not planned at this time of the day) take place towards this track.

When activating additional traffic "Störung RKW-RKR", some trains have to be sent towards Gbf as shunt movement via track 060. When activating additional traffic "Zusatzverkehr", some trains are running between Gbf and Hbf. See also section "Additional traffic (Zusatzverkehr)".

Some locomotives also turn around on tracks 026, 048, 068 and 075.

Turning around at the west side

Turning around the Stadtbahn trains is only done on tracks 167 and 168. In case of movements between tracks 12-14 and track 471, the dispatcher may also use track 488. For movements from track 14 to 471 he or she can also use track 489. The movement orders need to be adjusted accordingly when doing so.

Tracks 488 and 489 can be used for stabling trains in between. However, in the winter a locomotive, for Bügelfahrten (pantograph test rides) for the TGV between Karlsruhe and Kehl, is stabled on track 489. This locomotive should not be blocked of course.

VT- and ET- trains go where needed to the Westgruppe. Some locomotives also turn around on tracks 127, 128, 145 and 163. There are some exceptions for Rf 904xx.

Shunt movements (Rf) 904xx

Stadtbahn trains, which are running between the Hauptbahnhof and the Albtalbahnhof (RKAB) - and vice versa - as a shunt movement, are running with number Rf 904xx. These trains go depending on their length and traffic to the designated track sections 182, 183/203 and 284. Only one articulated railcar (GT) will fit on track section 183/203. Up to three GTs will fit on the track sections 182 and 284. As there is a power isolator located on track section 284, turning around with 2 or 3 GT's will lead to problems. If possible, only a single GT-trains should turn around there.

Of course, the dispatcher can decide to let a train on a different track than indicated. In this case, the movement orders need to be adjusted.

In case of shunt movement starting at the platform, the train will occasionally have to wait a little longer until a suitable time window becomes available for the ride to the Albtalbahnhof.

Movements to and from the Westgruppe

Movements to and from the Westgruppe take place via the tracks 206, 186 and 165. In reality, arrangements between Stellwerk 6 (Stw6) and Stellwerk Kf have been made for these shunt movements. In order to approach the situation somewhat realistic, direction indicators and a communication capability were added to the simulation, which only partially represents the reality but for the purpose it is good enough.

The sequence in the simulation is as follows:
Trains coming from Stellwerk 6 are sent without being announced when the direction is set towards Hbf. If a driver has to stop in front of signal, he will contact you after some time via the radio. In case the direction is not set towards Hbf, the dispatcher of Stw6 will contact you before the departure time from the Westgruppe, and ask you to change the direction. This will cause a delay in departure from the Westgruppe of about two minutes. To avoid this, make sure the direction is set in time. When a required track is occupied for exits, the dispatcher Stw6 will call in and offer a train on a different track. Always refuse such requests, as it does not work and in reality it is mostly not possible either.

When a train is to be sent towards stabling area West, you must first contact Stw6 to offer the train. Then select the correct train and the track in the communication dialog box. (Note: A train is only displayed in the dialog box when the train is stationary). The response from Stw6 sometimes refers to another train. Simply ignore this minor error. The direction is then set towards stabling yard by the dispatcher of Stw 6. When a train is already on its way from the Westgruppe, then depending on the location of the train, the train being offered will be refused or if it is accepted, the direction will be changed towards Stw6 as soon as the train from Stw6 has entered the main station.

Unfortunately, the communication dialog box does not provide the possibility to offer multiple trains, which require quick succession towards the Westgruppe, simultaneously for the same track. These movements can nonetheless occur. A next train can be sent, immediately and without further communication, once a previous train has disappeared from the panel into track 165, 186 or 206. If you try to offer the next train immediately, it will be refused as long as that track is occupied. It would also lead to longer, unwanted delays.

It takes about 4 minutes for a train to travel from Hbf to the Westgruppe. In the meantime, the direction cannot be changed. This should be taken into account when setting a shunt route towards the Westgruppe, in order not to hinder arriving trains. In the case of a small time window, let the train at the platform wait and give priority to the train arriving from the stabling area. This applies in particular to the situation when a number of trains arrive shortly after each other from the Westgruppe.

The simulation allows to offer any train on any track, and then send it there. However, for a realistic gaming experience the following applies: Tracks in the Westgruppe, which are scheduled to be reached via track 165, can also be reached via track 186. All movements planned via track 206, should be executed as such. Otherwise the foreseen sidings in Westgruppe can not be reached. Theoretically track 186 could be an alternative, but using that one would lead to many shunt movements in shunt yard Westgruppe.

Departure times and steering numbers of ending trains

Trains ending in Karlsruhe usually have a departure time assigned. This time is not according to a predetermined timetable, but is used to prevent that a red line with "Ready for depart" message appears in the Train Overview window, which might be considered as being annoying during the time that the train remains at the platform.

This waiting time has been taken a bit longer for a long-distance trains, which fits well with the sequence of operations. If you - the dispatcher – think that this takes too long, the dispatcher can instruct the driver to leave earlier.

For regional trains, a uniform time of two minutes after arrival, has been given. During the day, especially when the trains are full, this time is fairly short. Here the dispatcher can decide himself when he sends the train to the Westgruppe. In the case of simultaneous approaching trains, trains simultaneously display the readiness message. Again the dispatcher decides which train goes to West first.

For technical reasons, all ending Stadtbahn trains do not have a departure time. (This could lead, in certain situations, that the same train would show up both along the platform as well as in the stabling yard.) Here the dispatcher must wait a certain time before he sends off the train.

Trains out of the direction of RRA have a steering 1 at their arrival. This steering number will be taken over automatically when the train is changing its number and turning around. When those trains are stabled as Rabt, and return back to the platform for their next service, this same steering number 1 will be assigned to its new number as well. In both cases the dispatcher will have to manually assign the train number without a steering number.  

Remarks in the train overview

A double arrow (>>) between the track numbers means that the movement must be done quickly, in order to maintain the timetable.

Movement orders between brackets mean that this movement order needs to be executed, but not by this train itself. This is often the case for trains that are waiting at the platform and wait for reinforcements. Drivers calling is common because of a the long wait. Simply answer these calls briefly. Such calls do not affect the operations at all.

The comment "> südl. GWB !!!" means that this train is to be sent via the wrong line of the southern track pair Karlsruhe-Durlach.

Movement orders

All movement orders which are to be carried out on the platform, haven't been assigned to a specific track number. This allows the dispatcher to react flexibly, where necessary. The movement orders are then also carried out in the event that the train is guided to another track.

All other movement orders have fixed track-assignments. The purpose of this is that turning around will not be executed too early or on the wrong track, or that a train is stabled on the wrong track which causing that the next movement orders are not feasible. When the dispatcher chooses different tracks for turning around or for stabling, he should therefore also adjust the movement orders.

Stabled trains at program start

When starting a simulation, certain locomotives, cars or complete trains will be stabled on the tracks where they should be located at that time in accordance with the timetable.

This could be trains, which have arrived recently and are to be combined with an arriving train which is scheduled to arrive after the start of the simulation. When playing with delays, it may happen that an already stabled train shows up again as a delayed train. Since the delays are randomly generated in the simulation, it is impossible to take this into account. For such cases, the delayed train should be cancelled.

The same could happen for trains stabled in the stabling yards. Please check the list of stabled trains at program start (by means of the notepad) and check the announced trains with their remarks closely.

Additional traffic (Zusatzverkehr)

To provide even more variety while on duty as a dispatcher, some additional traffic – trains not planned on regular base - is included in the timetable.

  • On 11 / 12-7-2015 there is a station event at the main station. On Saturday several historic trains will be arriving, which will be stabled in the stabling yard Ostgruppe for exposition until their return trip on Sunday. In addition, there are shuttles between Bruchsal and Karlsruhe Hbf and between Rastatt and Karlsruhe Hbf. These shuttles begin and end at the stabling yard Ostgruppe. The services for this event are indicated with BF in the field Remarks.
  • On 7-2 and 15-8-2015 a special train for sports fans is running between Dortmund and Freiburg.
  • Every third Wednesday of the month, the V 320 001-1 (BR 232) of the company Wiebe arrives here, departing the Thursday after with some departure wagons. This also applies for the months of August to December, although in reality the locomotive was taken out of service on 2nd August 2015.
  • During the week of 14 to 20-9-2015 there is some regular traffic of service and maintenance trains to and from Karlsruhe Hbf. As a result, some additional extra shunt movements in the area of Hbf will take place. Additionally, this will also give some shunt movements between Hbf and Gbf via track 060. During such shunting operations there may be no other shunt movements (i.e. turning around) on track 060. As the simulation does not announce trains from Gbf, those movements are listed in the PDF "Rides from Gbf via track 060" as a replacement.

All those additional trains can be activated with the traffic code "Zusatzverkehr" by fax at any time.

Addtional traffic Karlsruhe Hbf (Activate by Fax)

Irregularities RKW-RKR

Freight trains, which can not run between RKW and RKR and vica versa due to some irregularities, have to be routed via the main station (Hbf). Freight trains from RKW ending in Gbf, must be send from the Hbf to the Gbf as a shunt movement via track 060. Communication between Hbf and Gbf is not possible.

Partial closure line towards RFM

(Teilsperrung RFM)

The line to and from is only available for services of the Stadtbahn. All trains, except those of the Stadbtbahn, have to be routed via REL. The dispatcher has to make sure that departing trains from Hbf, which normally run into the direction of RFM, are correctly routed towards RETL.

Total closure line towards RFM

(Vollsperrung RFM)

All trains are diverted via RETL. Stadtbahn trains between RKAB and RFM (and vica versa) are not running. The dispatcher has to make sure that departing trains from Hbf, which normally run into the direction of RFM, are correctly routed towards RETL.

Total closure line towards RETL

(Vollsperrung RETL)

All trains are diverted via RFM. The dispatcher has to make sure that departing trains from Hbf, which normally run into the direction of RETL, are correctly routed towards RFM.

Total closure line towards RKHA

(Vollsperrung RKHA)

All trains are diverted via the northern tracks towards RKDU. Trains coming from the north will have delays of approx. 15 minutes. The dispatcher has to make sure that departing trains from Hbf, which normally run into the direction of RKHA, are correctly routed towards the northern tracks to RKDU.

Relieving Gbf

(Entlastung Gbf)

To relieve the Gbf, freight trains which are normally not handled overthere, will be routed via Hbf. The dispatcher has to take care of the diversion for freight trains from RETL or RFM (disable the auto fleeting). There are two lists (PDFs Diversion Cargo Trains RETL and Diversion Cargo Trains RFM) which lists the trains that can be diverted via Hbf.

Other Additional traffic (Zusatzverkehr)

See "Information about the timetable"


  • All additional traffic options can be activated/combined with each other, even when this would be somewhat unrealistic.
  • When the traffic-codes for relieving Gbf and closing the line RKHA are active simultaneously, the freight trains from Gbf which are due to relieve Gbf are not running at all.
  • Additional traffic can be deactivated again only five minutes after its activation.
  • Deactivating the additional traffic code "Relieving Gbf" could lead to freight trains showing up twice in the event such trains are already on the panel. Same train might appear from Gbf as well.

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