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 latest results

  • The S-Bahn Berlin meets its punctuality targets.

Before the end of August 2019, and on average, trains were punctual 96.26 percent of the time. Compared to the previous year, this is an improvement of almost 1.5 percent.

Factors that contributed to this improvement included the new disruption concepts (introduced in 2018) as well as the Ringbahn PLUS scheme launched in 2017 by DB Netz and S-Bahn Berlin. The latter includes a 3-year drive to improve the Ring lines’ overall reliability and punctuality.

  • S-Bahn trains are more reliable.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, there were 33 percent fewer S-Bahn train cancellations and 23 fewer train disruptions between January 1st and August 15th, 2019.

  • S-Bahn stations are more attractive.

Since the launch of S-Bahn PLUS, 26 stations have been improved, including Adlershof this year. 17 stations received construction upgrades, among them Pankow and Neukölln. Other improvements include a total of 12,000 sqm of anti-graffiti paint and new destination displays at Gehrenseestraße station, with more of these to follow in Wildau this year. Trial operations of the new ZIM (ZugInfoMonitor) display generation are also scheduled to take place this year.

We have promised – and we have delivered. After an almost perfect punctuality target score over the past few months we can safely say that our measures are working. Now, we need to focus on keeping up the good work to keep S-Bahn Berlin on the right track to success.

Alexander Kaczmarek representative of the DB Group for Berlin

Review after year one of our quality drive

After one year, many projects have already been completed successfully (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 drive: 100 newly trained engine drivers per year
    To date: 373 have successfully completed their training (of those, 59 in the first six months of 2019); pass rates have improved once again (to 72 percent in 2019); only 18 more recruits required in 2019
  • All under one roof: new integrated control center in Schöneweide - this significantly speeds up coordination processes in the event of a major incident.
    Current state: Commissioning
  • Precautionary replacement of 1000 door relays to prevent door malfunctions
    Current state: 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
    Current state: 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
    Current state: 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).
    Current state: Action not implemented after detailed check and no longer required since the timetable change
  • Central opening of all doors during peak hours at key stationsbetween Ostkreuz and Hauptbahnhof
    Current state: 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
    Current state: completed in July 2018. Number of TCS disturbances on the open track decreased by 30 percent.
  • Reinforced controls for particularly fault-prone trains
    Current state: 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
    Current state: 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
    Current state: 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 2018 on the entire Ostring (Schönhauser Allee to Südkreuz)

in the implementation:

  • Direct ventilation of the electronic cabinets in the trains against overheating, especially on hot summer days
    Current state: Installation in all 481-series carriages as a lifeextension measure has been delayed. The initial sample inspection at the manufacturer’s (Knorr-Bremse Powertech) testing facility revealed design flaws that require redress before installation can start. Due to this corrective action, the direct ventilation retrofitting will be delayed accordingly.
  • Stabilization of train control by replacing the travel switches as a preferred measure for longevity
    Current state: Optimised driving is currently being tested; serial conversionstarted in July 2019 and is scheduled to take approx. two years
  • Reconstruction of the 481 series vehicles to reduce TCS disturbances (train control system).
    Current state: The 4K20 contactor exchange has been completed. Furthermore, the so-called toroidal core coil was identified as the source of TCS disturbances. The 481 series will be modified accordingly in late 2019.


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