The test programme for Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) was launched at the start of October. The four prototypes made by the companies Dellner, Voith, Wabtec/Faively and CAF are being put through 440 individual tests on a tight schedule at a test site in Görlitz-Schlauroth. The technical requirements as well as the prototypes’ reactions are being investigated in various test scenarios.
Once testing is complete in March 2021, the test results will play a key role in deciding which DAC design will be selected for rollout across Europe. This decision will be made on a European level within the framework of the Shift2Rail-European DAC Delivery Programme. After this, a “demonstrator train” will travel across Europe so that the preferred coupling model can gain more experience in operation.
The European consortium DAC4EU
The consortium DAC4EU is made up of the consortium leader DB AG, the railway undertakings Rail Cargo Group, DB Cargo und SBB Cargo, as well as the wagon lessors Ermewa, GATX Rail Europe and VTG. They are committed to equipping all of Europe with Digital Automatic Coupling. The consortium began work in June 2020. By 2030, entire trains all across Europe are to be equipped with this new technology and will enable rail freight transport to play a key role in the European mobility system of the future. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is funding the project with around 13 million Euro for the project’s life span of two and a half years.