News 10 Jul 2023

Strong Rail Sector Support for Digital Automatic Coupling

Stakeholders in the European railway sector have expressed their steadfast commitment and support for the implementation of Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC). DAC is an innovative solution to automatically couple and decouple the rolling stock in a freight train both physically (the mechanical connection and the air line for braking), as well as digitally (electrical power and data connection).

In a sector statement published on 10 July, the European Commission and Member States are urged to begin shaping the political, financial, and legal framework conditions for a coordinated European deployment of DAC and its automation and digital technology on all European freight wagons and locomotives to accelerate the digitalisation of rail freight. Strong public support must be ensured for the ensuing phases as well as full complementarity with the required ERTMS and infrastructure investments.

The rail sector signatories are confident that the long-term viability of this green form of transportation in Europe depends on rail freight automation and digitalisation. DAC will enable this necessary transition and facilitate a modal shift from road to rail. In addition it will create a better, more contemporary, and safer working environment.

They further underline the necessity of establishing a centralised European Deployment Management Entity, as specified in the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking EU DAC Investment Plan study, for essential coordination at European level.

The full statement can be found here on the CER website.