Railway Technology


In 1839, Germany’s first long-distance rail line was officially inaugurated between Leipzig and Dresden. In the opening ceremony participated not only British locomotives, but also the first locomotive built in Germany, the “Saxonia”. This locomotive was manufactured by the “Maschinenbau-Anstalt Übigau” in the vicinity of Dresden. The “Saxonia” proved its worth with regard to its pulling power, speed, fuel consumption, and reliability. This marked the start of the success story of Saxony’s railway technology branch which can look back on 175 years of history today.

Map "Railway Technology in Saxony" - Company Logos Members of the BTS Rail Saxony Network

Source: BTS Bahntechnik Sachsen e. V. / “BTS Rail Saxony” cluster

Railway Technology in Saxony at a Glance

For more than 175 years now, Saxony has been standing for innovations in the rail industry. Since then, Saxony has evolved into a leading venue for rail technology and is among the top 3 centers of the branch in Germany today.

About 13,000 employees in more than 240 companies generate a turnover of approximately one billion euros every year. With Bombardier, RailMaint, Goldschmidt Thermit, Voith, or the NSH Group, globally active manufacturers, suppliers, equipment providers, engineering and service providers of rail technology are located in Saxony. 

Fields of competence:

  • Production of complete rail vehicles and components
  • Drive and propulsion technology
  • Lightweight structures
  • Information systems, control and safety technology
  • Traffic route and track construction
  • Maintenance / repair services
  • Engineering



Go to the interactice Map "Railway Technology in Saxony"
Güterzug-Lok von ITL Eisenbahngesellschaft mbH (Tochtergesellschaft der Captrain-Gruppe)

Source: ITL Eisenbahngesellschaft mbH

Companies working the switches

Saxony’s railway technology industry is dominated mainly by the two Bombardier Transportation production sites in Bautzen and in Görlitz as well as a supply industry made up of small and mid-sized enterprises. The primary fields of competence include the sectors lightweight structures, information / infotainment systems, control and signaling technology, drive and propulsion technology, traffic route engineering and track construction, engineering as well as repair / maintenance.


In Saxony, more than 25 research institutes and universities are active in the field of railway technology. They include, in particular, the Dresden University of Technology, the Dresden University of Applied Sciences, the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI Dresden, as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU with its offices in Chemnitz, Dresden and Zittau.

“BTS Rail Saxony” cluster / BTS Bahntechnik Sachsen e. V.

With the “BTS Rail Saxony” cluster, Saxony’s railway companies and research institutions have created an umbrella organization in order to develop new products and successfully enter foreign markets. Marketing for the rail technology location Saxony as well as establishing an extensive network among the participating enterprises and with other European companies are additional objectives of the cluster. The cluster was initiated, conceived, and implemented by the BTS Bahntechnik Sachsen e. V. (regd. assn.). The Dresden-based association is the representative body of the SME enterprises in Saxony’s rail technology branch, a knowledge and technology hub, and the driving force behind the positive business development of its more than 50 members. BTS is founding member of the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCl) and is the spokesperson of the ERCI alliance. 

Innovationszentrum Bahntechnik Europa e. V. (IZBE)

At the Innovationszentrum Bahntechnik Europa e. V. (IZBE) association, which is headquartered in Dresden, companies as well as teaching and research institutions have joined forces in a network that is active internationally. The association pursues the objective of organizing cooperations, aligning the performance potentials of its members, and initiating innovations. The primary focus is on research and technology transfer, fostering interdisciplinary interregional cooperations, the acquisition and initiation of business transactions, education and training as well as providing expert consultations for traffic solutions and their components within the realm of rail technology. 

We support Saxony.

Friedhelm Nagel

Managing Director, HOPPECKE

"Already since the early 1990s, HOPPECKE has been producing batteries in Zwickau. The exceptional potential of the location and the employees on site was actually known to us as well as the specific climate for innovation and the prevailing inventive spirit found here. That’s why we selected this location and made investments here in order to address the technologies of the future."

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