The Deutsche Bahn operates a 4-stage safety concept for all its tunnels embracing the measures prevention, incident reduction, self-rescue and third-party rescue. At present, the DB maintains 6 permanently deployable rescue trains, at a cost of € 12 million per annum to support third-party evacuation in tunnels on the high-speed routes Hanover-Würzburg and Mannheim-Stuttgart in Hildesheim, Kassel, Fulda, Würzburg, Mannheim and Korn-westheim near Ludwigsburg. The trains were always upgraded to reach the latest standards during the course of the years but within the next 6 years after being used for more than 20 years they are to be replaced by new rolling stock. The DB is to invest some € 80 million in safety on the 2 high-speed routes including a further train, which is due to be deployed there.
Towards this end, contracts to supply 36 units for transport, equipment, extinguishing agent and ambulance cars (Dräger, Sicherheitstechnik) and an equal number of carrier vehicles (Tatravagonka) have been drawn up. In this way, emergency services and material will be transported safely to where they are required.
The special cars build in modular container form, with the respiratory air supply independent of the surrounding air, can be shut off from contaminated external air in the event of an emergency. As a result, evacuated persons and emergency services can remain in safety in the containers for many hours without an additional air supply. In addition, the rescue trains are provided with firefighting equipment and extinguishing water as well as means of communication and power generators. The sectors sealed off from the surrounding air also possess emergency medical facilities. This rescue concept has so far proved its worth on the high-speed lines.⇥G.B.