Quality Campaign "S-Bahn Plus"

Quality campaign S-Bahn PLUS

On the right track: S-Bahn Berlin runs successfully with quality campaign S-Bahn PLUS

S-Bahn Berlin has launched its most comprehensive S-Bahn PLUS quality program to improve punctuality, quality and service in the second half of 2018.
Deutsche Bahn uses more than 30 million euros for this purpose. The project teams of the Group companies DB Netz, DB Station & Service, DB Energie and S-Bahn Berlin have taken a close look at the complex operating procedures and developed a program with more than 200 modules. These have been followed consistently since then. The program should be completed by 2025.


The first balance:

  • The S-Bahn Berlin is more punctual

In the second half of 2018 - since the start of the quality campaign - 95.4 percent of the trains were on time. Compared to 2017, this is an improvement of 1.8 percentage points. The Ringbahn performed especially well with a punctuality increase of 2.3 percentage points.

Among other things, the new incident-concept and the program Ringbahn PLUS, which started in 2017, took effect here.

  • The S-Bahn Berlin is more reliable

In 2018 alone, 151 new train drivers were trained, who now ensure a more stable operation. In addition, the so-called TCS disturbances (train control system - monitors the vehicle) and the door disturbances could be significantly reduced. Several kilometers of fault-prone cables were also replaced prematurely.

  • The S-Bahn Berlin is more reliable

Up to now a good dozen railway stations have been upgraded, other stations have been embellished by artistic wall designs. The employees clean particularly intensively at the main stations.

That's a good first record, and it shows that the joint effort has paid off. Of course, we now want to remain on the right track and continue to seize every opportunity for more punctuality and reliability for our daily 1.5 million passengers.

Alexander Kaczmarek representative of the DB Group for Berlin

This overview is a first conclusion:

Some projects have already been successfully completed (here marked with a ✔), many are in the conversion (-), a few have been discarded. There are a few new projects that will improve the quality of the S-Bahn in the future.

Trains & Operation


  • Job offensive: 100 newly trained engine drivers per year
    Status: In 2018 already 151 engine drivers successfully trained, pass rate increased to 66 percent, for 2019 already 37 candidates recruited
  • All under one roof: new integrated control center in Schöneweide - this significantly speeds up coordination processes in the event of a major incident.
    Status: Commissioning
  • Precautionary replacement of 1000 door relays to prevent door malfunctions
    Status: Measure completed, door faults fell by 15 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.
  • Increased security: Additional presence of patrols as a pilot project at the Warschauer Straße and Alexanderplatz stations, in addition to five S-Bahn guards and mobile support groups
    Status: All five S-Bahn guards (Gesundbrunnen, Ostkreuz, Friedrichstrasse, Westkreuz, Schöneberg) are equipped: staff around the clock, sometimes with a dog. The mobile support group will continue in 2019 (very flexible deployment options, with the emphasis on stations with increased security requirements from the customer's perspective).

in the implementation:

  • Fault report from the engine driver to the workshop - thus faster repair
    Status: Several implementation variants developed and evaluated, high IT requirements for implementation, currently testing of the IT tools of the Integrated Control Center, whether they cover the requirements.


  • Engine driver change only against the load direction (Ex .: Change early in the morning on lines out of town).
    Status: Action not implemented after detailed check and no longer required since the timetable change
  • Central opening of all doors during peak hours at important railway stations (test from July 23 between Ostkreuz and Hauptbahnhof)
    Status: measure tested, results below expectations, continuation in another form

New building blocks:


  • Leave the engine driver-key (drive switch key) in order to avoid malfunctions of the train control system TCS
    Status: implemented since July 23, 2018. Number of TCS disturbances on the open track decreased by 30 percent.
  • Reinforced controls for particularly fault-prone trains
    Status: Workshop master Marcel Siebert has been based in the control center vehicles since September 2018 and creates "medical records" on trains that are particularly prone to failure over long periods of time and causes a complete check-up in the workshops so that they drive stable again.
  • Replacing the 480 series drives for a more reliable operation
    Status: Drives exchanged on all 70 trains of the series. Number of failures decreased by 75 percent.
  • Loudspeaker announcements (also in English) at stations: "Please spread over the entire length of the vehicle" to shorten the holding times
    Status: The so-called "preventive sound reinforcement" is carried out since June 2018 at the stations Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse and Zoologischer Garten. Since July at all stations between Ostkreuz and Hauptbahnhof plus Zoologischer Garten. Since December on the complete Ostring (Schönhauser Allee to Südkreuz)

in the implementation:

  • Direct ventilation of the electronic cabinets in the trains against overheating, especially on hot summer days
    Status: Installation is preferred over all vehicles of the 481 series as a measure from the longevity concept and implemented from April 2019. By mid-2019, 200 quarter trains are to be retrofitted, so that this summer an effect will be achieved. Complete conversion until summer 2020
  • Stabilization of train control by replacing the travel switches as a preferred measure for longevity
    Status: Optimized driving switch in testing, serial conversion from July 2019, spread over two years
  • Reconstruction of the 481 series vehicles to reduce TCS disturbances (train control system).
    Status: Exchange of contactor 4K20 largely completed. Furthermore, the so-called toroidal core coil was identified as the source of TCS disturbances. The 481 series will now be modified by the end of the year.


rail infrastructure
power supply
I would like to thank all the employees involved in the various DB business units for their great commitment to a better S-Bahn. We will continue developing the quality offensive. Even as we implement measures, new ideas and new plans often emerge.

Peter Buchner Managing Director S-Bahn Berlin