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RSRG Built Workshop Opens Ahead of Schedule

Industry Milestone: RSRG Helps Build High Tech Maintenance Hall in Record Time

The German Chancellor has officially opened a new rail maintenance facility which was completed in just 20 months.  

The most modern rail maintenance facility in Germany, the new Deutsche Bahn workshop in Cottbus was completed ahead of schedule thanks to a new cooperative construction process.  

Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group (RSRG) was one of the key partners in the new Rail Partnership Model which accelerated planning and delivery. The new model ensures that all partners and stakeholders work closely together and co-ordinate at every stage of the project.  

The early completion and commissioning of the 450 metre workshop proves it is an excellent working model which benefits all stakeholders. 

The workshop was recently opened by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Brandenburg's Prime Minister Dr. Dietmar Woidke, and DB CEO Dr. Richard Lutz.  

Heavy maintenance of DB's ICE 4 fleet will take place at the workshop. The Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group played a key role in the project, being responsible, along with partners, for the traffic facilities, civil engineering, railway technical equipment, and medium voltage supply. 

The ICE 4 is the backbone of Deutsche Bahn's long-distance service, with 137 of these trains ordered by DB. As part of its corporate strategy 'Strong Rail,' DB is continuously expanding its ICE fleet. By the end of the decade, around 450 ICE trains of various series are expected to be in operation. More trains also require increased maintenance capacity. With innovative technology, the new Cottbus facility ensures that trains are quickly back on track, enabling more people to travel in an environmentally friendly and comfortable manner, and supporting the transport transition in Germany. 

“The ‘New Cottbus Facility’ sets standards for major projects throughout Germany. Deutsche Bahn has erected a demanding construction in the shortest possible time," said Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor. 

"This is what I mean when I talk about our new Germany pace. Deutsche Bahn has bravely embarked on something new, the ‘Rail Partnership Model.’ The cooperation between Deutsche Bahn and LEAG for the ‘New Facility’ is also an excellent example of how it works: Even as jobs change, good jobs remain here. Deutsche Bahn also came to Cottbus because it can and wants to draw on the experiences and qualifications of the people in Brandenburg.” 

Heavy rail maintenance involves the partially disassembly of trains, and major components such as drive motors or bogies are replaced. This can be done in the new facility, which is specifically tailored for the ICE 4, in just about two weeks – faster than in any other DB facility.

“We are very proud to have contributed here in Cottbus to today's commissioning of the ‘New Cottbus Facility’ as an internationally active complete provider in the railway infrastructure sector," said Konrad Schnyder, President Owner Board of the Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group. 

"We have managed to ensure that the first train could enter the newly built maintenance hall on time. This is the result of efficient and fruitful cooperation of all alliance partners, to whom we would like to express our gratitude for the good cooperation at this point. This is how it can and will continue.”

The nearly 450-metre-long workshop hall can accommodate the 374-meter-long XXL ICE trains with 13 cars and 918 seats in their full length. Two of the shorter, seven-part ICE trains, each about 200 metres long, can stand back to back on the two maintenance tracks. Unlike in other facilities, the trains do not need to be split for maintenance. Employees can work on all cars simultaneously. Another hall with a total of four tracks is already under construction on the site and is expected to be operational by 2026. 

Highly modern technology and automation in the facility ensure more efficient and simpler workflows, speeding up maintenance processes and easing the burden on employees: The two maintenance tracks are elevated, making the side flaps and wheelsets of the trains easily accessible. Specially developed bogie changers are embedded in the workshop floor. With these, the heavy bogies can be moved out sideways from under the train for further processing. 

Employees in Cottbus can identify parts and components via an app and order them to their working location on the train. Augmented reality glasses enable technicians and engineers from other locations to participate in work in Cottbus, with tips and instructions immediately displayed in their field of vision. This ensures that the trains are quickly and reliably ready for service in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.