Automatic couplings (ACs) are already in use in rail freight transport across the world. Only Europe is lagging behind countries like the United States, Russia and China at the moment. In the last hundred years, attempts have been made several times to introduce AC in Europe and technical solutions have been worked out for it in UIC leaflets (e.g. UIC 530-1), but the high costs associated with a European-wide introduction were major roadblocks. This is the reason why the prior attempt to replace screw couplings for freight wagons with automatic ones was unsuccessful in the 1990s (even despite the manual coupling process for an entire train – includes the wagon inspection – take about an hour longer each time). The large number of ground staff required is another important reason for the enormous need for action.
Now, Europe has the chance to skip a generation of the automatic coupling (AC) and become a global pioneer with Digital Automatic coupling (DAC).
The DAC Type 4 is intended to ensure the mechanical coupling as well as the coupling of air, power and data lines. These functions are intended to enable digitalization and the associated automation of many processes in the formation of trains in rail freight transport.
In the next post you will be able to read about the exact objectives of the DAC. This blog is part of a News series in which the DAC4EU project, financed by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure with € 13 million and carried out by seven consortium partners, is being introduced.