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High-voltage switching stations, consisting of numerous distributed actuators and sensors, are used to connect, disconnect and protect the high-voltage lines of national and international power distribution networks. A dependability analysis performed already during development allows to influence the distributed control system design into a direction of cost-effective fault-tolerance. The vast variety of configurations considering all combinations of different degrees of redundancy at sensor, PISA (Process Interface for Sensors and Actuators), PB (Process Bus) and IBB (Interbay Bus) level, cannot be handled manually any more. This article presents a consistent strategy which has successfully been applied to the configuration-variant dependability analysis in the optimization of switchgear station design. At the end of the analysis, the dependability results (MTTF, availability, etc.) of the various configurations are displayed versus hardware costs.