Dispatching in Zentralstellwerk Duisburg 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 Sp Dr S 60-Zentralstellwerk Duisburg Hbf panel here.


Welcome to the signal box of Duisburg Hbf.


  • Line 2184 : Duisburg – Mülheim-Styrum
  • Line 2290 : Duisburg – Mülheim-Styrum (S-Bahn)
  • Line 2650 : Köln-Deutz - Duisburg Hbf (CME)
  • Line 2310 : Duisburg Hbf – Duisburg-Großenbaum (nur Richtung Süden)
  • Line 2312 : Duisburg Hbf – Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd
  • Line 2330 : Duisburg-Wedau (EDWD) - (Abzw Duissern) - (Abzw Sigle) - Bf Oberhausen-Osterfeld Süd (EOS)
  • Line 2505 : Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd – (Rheinhausen) - Krefeld-Uerdingen – Krefeld-Oppum
  • Line 2326 : Duisburg Hbf - Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd Vorbf

Neighbouring Dispatching Areas

Let's have a look at our neighbouring dispatchers:

Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum (EMRY)

To/from Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum

On the upper left the tracks 950 (Ferngleis) and 951 (S-Bahn) are leading towards Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum (EMRY). These are the lines 2184 and 2290. Directly underneath are tracks 952 (S-Bahn) and 953 (Ferngleis) from Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum. GWB is possible on track 953. Our neighbouring dispatcher is dispatcher Mhf.

Oberhausen Hbf (EOB)

To/from Oberhausen Hbf

On the left, in the middle, are the tracks to/from Oberhausen Hbf. Track 954 is the track Duisburg - Oberhausen Hbf, track 955 is the track Oberhausen Hbf - Duisburg Hbf. Both tracks can be used for GWB (left hand running).

Mathilde (EMAF)

To/from Mathilde

At junction Duissern (Abzweig Duissern) is the connection to the freight track towards Matthilde (Oberhausen-West). This is line 2320. Track 043 connect to junction Sigle. Trains on this line will be offered by our colleague at signal box Mathilde (Maf) over ZNP. We do the same if trains need to go there.

Duisburg-Wedau (EDWD)

to/from Duisburg-Wedau

Right below the station Duisburg Hbf is the freight track 550 to/from Duisburg-Wedau. This is line 2320. Trains towards Duisburg-Wedau have to be offered via ZNP to the dispatcher Duisburg-Wedau (Wedau).

Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd (EDHD)

to/from Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd

From here tracks are leading to Duisburg-Wedau Gbf via Hochfeld Süd.

Düsseldorf-Unterrath (KDU)

To/from Düsseldorf-Unterrath

On the right, in the middle, are the tracks to/from Düsseldorf. The tracks 713/326 are the Fernbahn-tracks to/from Düsseldorf. GWB operation is not needed for those tracks. The tracks 773/348 are the S-Bahn tracks. GWB operation is possible on those tracks. Our neighbouring dispatcher is dispatcher Unterrath (Unterr.)

Rheinhausen (KRH)

To/from Rheinhausen

On the right bottom we see tracks 101/102 to/from Rheinhausen. GWB operation is possible on both tracks. Our neighbour there is dispatcher Rheinhausen (Rheinh).

Stations and Sidings

Let's have a more detailed look at our stations and sidings:

Towards Oberhausen/Mülheim (Ruhr)

Abzweig Duissern (EDUI)
Abzw. Duissern

The Abzweig Duissern is the connection (043) to/from Abzweig Sigle, into the direction of Mathilde (Oberhausen-West).

Duisburg Kaiserberg (EKAI)

Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum -> Duisburg Hbf

Station Duisburg Hbf

Duisburg Hbf (EDG)

The station Duisburg Hbf has six platforms. Only tracks 400 and 007 do not have a platform.

Train movements towards Oberhausen and Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum are possible from track 006 and track 008 up to 013. Train routes from 001 are only possible into the direction of Oberhausen Hbf and Mathilde. Track 001 is normally used for trains turning around for their service back to Oberhausen.

Departures into the direction of Düsseldorf and Rheinhausen (-Krefeld) take place from tracks 002 till 006. Tracks 008 till 013 are for departing trains into the direction of Oberhausen and Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum. Track 400 is mainly used for freight trains from Mathilde into the direction of Duisburg-Wedau and Rheinhausen.

Duisburg Hbf (left)

As said, tracks 008 through 013 are for departures into the direction Oberhausen and Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum. The exit signals on those tracks all have auto fleeting with auto route setting (Zuglenkung). However, the route setting has to be done/initiated by the dispatcher. Departures from 006 are also possible, but the exit signal N6 does not have auto fleeting. So, train routes starting at this signal has to be done by yourself.

Track 830 leads to the S-Bahn towards Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum, track 840 towards Oberhausen Hbf and track 850 is the Fernbahn track towards Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum.

Tracks 800-810-820 are the entry tracks from Oberhausen Hbf and Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum. Track 820 is the S-Bahn track from Mülheim-Styrum, tracks 810 is the Fernbahn tracks from Mülheim-Styrum, and track 800 is for trains from Oberhausen Hbf.

The dead end track 700 does not exist anymore. Therefore this track is shown out of order permanently. The switch 721 towards dead end track 724 is also permanently locked.

Duisburg Hbf (right)

On the top right we have the station's entry tracks from Düsseldorf and Rheinhausen(-Krefeld). Tracks 554 is the track from Rheinhausen, track 555 is the S-Bahn track from Düsseldorf, and 556 is the Fernbahn track from Düsseldorf. Only station tracks 008 till 013 can be reached from those entry tracks.

Below the entry tracks are the tracks to/from the stabling area (Vorbahnhof = Vbf).

The station's exit tracks towards Düsseldorf and Rheinhausen are on the bottom right. Track 563 leads towards Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd and onwards to Rheinhausen.

Track 552 is the S-Bahn track into the direction of Düsseldorf and 551 then Fernbahn track towards Düsseldorf.

Track 550 is the line to/from Duisburg-Wedau. Trains towards Duisburg-Wedau must be offered over ZNP to the dispatcher of Hochfeld-Süd!

Also at the bottom, at the far right, there are two more freight tracks. Track 549 is the freight track towards Duisburg-Großenbaum. Track 181 leads to Abzweig Hochfeld Süd and onwards to Rheinhausen.

Train routes over track 400 must be set by yourself, as auto fleeting with auto route setting is not available there.

Duisburg Vbf
Duisburg Vbf

This is Duisburg Vbf, the stabling area for Duisburg Hbf. Trains are normally send into the stabling area via track 629.

Towards Düsseldorf

Hp Duisburg-Schlenk (EDSL)

The first stop towards Düsseldorf is the stop Duisburg-Schlenk. It has an island platform along tracks 311 and 312. Only S-bahn services can have their stops here. The main line tracks (301/302) have no platform. In reality, track 302 is located underneath 312, and will cross the S-Bahn tracks via a short tunnel shortly after Duisburg-Schlenk.

Hp Duisburg-Buchholz (EDBU)

Next stop is the stop Duisburg-Buchholz (311/312). This stop also has only an island platform for the S-Bahn. Main line tracks (301/302) do not have platforms..

Duisburg-Großenbaum (EDGR)

The station Duisburg-Großenbaum has an island platform for the S-Bahn services along tracks 205 and 206. The freight track from Duisburg Hbf also connects here. The main line tracks (201/202) do not have platforms here either.

Hp Duisburg-Rahm (EDRM)

Next is the stop Haltepunkt Duisburg-Rahm. It only has an island platform along the S-Bahn tracks. The mainline tracks have no platform.

Hp Angermund (KANM)

Last stop in our dispatching area is Angermund. This stop also has an island platform along the S-Bahn tracks, and none along the mainline tracks. After this stop, the line continues towards Düsseldorf Flughafen (airport), for which dispatcher Düsseldorf-Unterrath is responsible.

Towards Rheinhausen

Abzw. Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd (EDHZ)

The passenger trakcs from Duisburg Hbf towards Rheinhausen (121/122), the freight tracks from Duisburg-Wedau (111/112) and the freight track from Duisburg Hbf (130) connect together at junction Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd. The signals along the freight tracks from Duisburg-Wedau and Duisburg Hbf do not have auto fleeting, so now and then we have to check if we have any traffic there.

Abzw. Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd
Hp Hochfeld-Süd (EDHP)

The stop at Hochfeld-Süd is located directly right of Abzweig Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd (103/106). It has an island platform. From here this line continues to the dispatching area of Rheinhausen.


Stabling area (Vbf)

Trains which need to go into the stabling area have to be routed via track 629!! This applies to trains which need to be stabled in the back of this area. Trains to be stabled directly behind the exit shunt signal on any other track may be send there directly. Watch your timetable.


LZB Tracks

The mainline between Duisburg Hbf and Düsseldorf is equipped with LZB. Part of LZB is the in-cab signalling allowing trains with LZB to travel at speeds higher than 160 km/h. The maximum speed on the LZB tracks under LZB regime is 200 km/h. In the train overview window it is shown when a train is running on LZB.

Linespeeds grossenbaum.png

Only the light green line (Fernbahn) is equipped with LZB.

Dark Areas / Panel tiles

The dark colored areas are the remote controlled signal boxes Abzw. Kaiserberg (left) and Bf Großenbaum (right). In this areas ...

  • Switch position indicators are always lit
  • Signals do not have a "route secured" (FfM) indicator
  • Signals do not have a "lock" indicator. Manual locking of signals there with LsSpT is not possible.

Light green area

The light green area on the right side of the station of Duisburg Hbf is a modified S59 system. This was the first part of the panel taken into operation in 1963.

  • A lit indicator underneath a signal shows that a route starting at this signal can NOT be set. (In an Sp Dr S 60 system this would be the "signal locked" indicator)
  • A signal in the S59 area can not be locked with LsSpT.
  • Overlap routes do not release automatically.
  • An overlap route must be revoked with FHT and the signal button.
  • Using the UFGT for an alternative route does not work in S59 area. Use the "alternative route" button at the signal instead (normally covered with glass collar.

Signal Ls 4w

At track 4 there is signal Ls 4w. This is a cover signal and shunt signal with a special function:

  • it can show one single white light, when a route behind the signal has been set. It now functions as a cover signal
  • Press SGT and the signal button to set the signal to "Kennlicht". Conditions: the switch behind must be in the correct position and a route over the switch may not be set. (in this case the switch must be in Normal position).
  • Now you can set a normal route over the signal and the switch. It works as cover signal. It will keep showing "Kennlicht" when the trains passes it.
  • Press HaGT + signal button to disable the "kennlicht". The locking of the switch is released, and the signal shows Stop. It functions as a normal shunt signal now. A shunt route starting at the signal can be set now.

Route target buttons

Some route target buttons look like Axel Counter buttons. They are both.

Automatic Route Setting (ARS)

The signal box Duisburg Hbf has signals with built-in Automatic Route Setting (Zuglenkung) and signals with just auto fleeting. The signal with ARS are normally located there where more then one train route is possible. The signals with only auto fleeting are mostly signals where only one train route is possible.

The ARS system applied here works on the full train number, not just the steering number. When a signal with ARS does not "know" a certain train number, the entire train number will flash. This alerts the dispatcher that he has to do something. Either he sets the route himself, or in case the train number is just wrong, he corrects the train number. For the last case, remember that is always possible that a neighbouring dispatcher has entered a wrong number. We are human after all. So pay attention yourself as well, so avoid entering wrong train numbers yourself as well.

All normally scheduled trains passing through Duisburg Hbf are known by the ARS system.

The ARS for signals with ARS can be enabled or disabled the same way as done for trains with only auto fleeting. There is no difference made for that. The indicator of the auto fleeting/ARS is located near the signals.

Trains at the platform of Duisburg Hbf

The normal exit signals at tracks 1-13 also have ARS. However, train routes will NOT be set automatically! The dispatcher has to set the route.

If nothing precludes the exit route, the following can be done:

Example: A train at track 013 towards the "left" is ready for departure. (The ARS knows where the train has to go)

  • on the Number Entry Panel enter 013
  • press Arrow Left
  • press Enter.

The exit route will now be set automatically into the right direction..


  • Auto fleeting enabled for the signal
  • Signal is at Stop
  • Train is located on the station's track or driving into it.
  • The train must be known (Number should not blink!)

When train number is blinking, a train route will not be set at signals with ARS!

ARS support feature

In the simulation the ARS has been made a bit more intelligent. Even when you have routed a train over an other track, the train will find its way out of the station. This option can be found in the menu under "Manage -> ARS"

Colors have the following meanings:

Color(s) Meaning
Edg ars white.png white/gray ARS disabled
Edg ars green.png solid green ARS enabled, no train route possible, operating has no effect
Edg ars dark yellow.png dark yellow ARS enabled, train approaching, train route possible, operating possible (no guarantee

that the route actually can be fully set)

Edg ars yellow.png yellow blinking ARS enabled, train approaching, train route possible.
Edg ars green.png green blinking ARS enabled, train route is being set, operating has no effect
inline bright green ARS enabled, train route set, signal at Proceed, operating has no effect
Edg ars purple.png purple ARS enabled, shunt aspect Sh1 shown, operating has no effect
inline black on white ARS enabled, either aspect Zs 1, 7, or 8 is shown, operating has no effect

This aid is not available on the real signal box, but the normal user needs help in Duisburg ... as there is so much traffic.

Overlap routes in Duisburg Hbf

Overlap routes in the green area (S59 system) are not released automatically. Revoking the overlap route is done by applying the FHT + signal button.

Do the following to revoke the overlap route using the Number Entry panel:

[TRACK NUMBER] + Arrow Right + "End" button + ENTER.

Standard conditions apply for revoking overlap routes. Be aware for entry routes into track 2 and 3: you mostly need a short overlap route to avoid blocking other traffic.

Trains with exceptional loads

Trains with exceptional loads (known as Lü-trains) require special attention. If you have a Lü train of classs C (Cäsar) or D (Dora) on its way, there may not be any other Lü of class C or D (Dora) traffic on the adjacent tracks . You might run into big problems when another Lü-train is on its way out of the other direction.

A Lü-train always has steering number "0" assigned. This means that the auto fleeting system won't work for those trains, and that you have to set any part of the route yourself.

Finally one more tip: Try to stay calm! Even when the train drivers keep calling frequently telling you that are waiting in front of a signal at danger. So what? You decide which train can drive, and which one has to wait. And don't be afraid, there are no passenger on board the trains. So you can coordinate and dispatch in the most optimal way!

Overview Offering Trains Using ZNP

More information : ZNP801 communication panel

ZNP801 EDG.png

Track Offering field Neighbour [F-Key] Example
042 A043 MAF [F5] 123456 MAF 043 ANB
954 A956 OHF [F4] 456789 OHF 956 ANB
955 A955 OHF [F4] 789123 OHF 955 ANB
334 A334 DU [F6] 123456 DU 334 ANB
351 A773 DU [F6] 456789 DU 773 ANB
614 A614 DWD [F8] 123456 DWD 614 ANB
550 A557 DWD [F8] 456789 DWD 557 ANB
101 A101 RH [F9] 789123 RH 101 ANB
102 A102 RH [F9] 123456 RH 102 ANB

Left side
Right side

Shortcuts Number Entry panel

  Alt + A Alt + B Alt + C Alt + D Alt + E Alt + F Alt + G Alt + H Alt + K Alt + M Alt + N Alt + O Alt + P Alt + Q Alt + R Alt + S Alt + T Alt + U Alt + V Alt + W Alt + X Alt + Z


Short Name Full Name
EDG Duisburg Hbf
EDBU Duisburg-Buchholz
EDGR Duisburg-Großenbaum
EDHD Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd
EDHDO Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd Hd
EDHZ Abzw. Duisburg-Hochfeld Süd
EDUI Abzw. Duisburg-Duissern
EDRM Duisburg-Rahm
EDSL Duisburg Schlenk
EDWD Duisburg-Wedau
EMAF Abzw. Oberhausen Mathilde
EMRY Mülheim (Ruhr)-Styrum
ESI Abzw. Duisburg Sigle
EOB Oberhausen Hbf
KANM Angermund
KD Düsseldorf Hbf
KDU Düsseldorf-Unterrath
KRH Rheinhausen

Track Lengths

Duisburg Hbf

Track Length (m)
Duisburg Hbf 1 382
Duisburg Hbf 2 415
Duisburg Hbf 3 415
Duisburg Hbf 4 384
Duisburg Hbf 5 340
Duisburg Hbf 6 365
Duisburg Hbf 7 360
Duisburg Hbf 8 359
Duisburg Hbf 9 275
Duisburg Hbf 10 427
Duisburg Hbf 11 434
Duisburg Hbf 12 427
Duisburg Hbf 13 420
Duisburg Hbf 400 1047

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