GATX plays a leading role in the DAC retrofitting strategy

GATX Rail Europe’s CEO, Johann Feindert, explained the importance of Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) for rail freight trains to an audience of more than 300 industry participants at the 10th VPI Symposium in Hamburg. DAC enables higher system speeds in rail freight as well as longer rail freight trains, making rail even more efficient and competitive.

Hamburg, January 14th, 2020 - Johann Feindert, CEO of GATX Rail Europe, spoke at the 10th VPI Symposium of the Association of Freight Car Owners in Germany about the "Intelligent Freight Train", highlighting GATX's innovative strength in Europe.

By 2030, with the same modal split, an additional 570 billion tonne-kilometres are expected to be transported by road. For this reason, the Association of Freight Car Owners in Germany, with the active participation of GATX Rail Europe, is working to shift as much freight transport as possible from road to rail.

If more market share shifts to rail freight then CO2 emissions are expected to decline. According to calculations by the “Rail Freight Forward” initiative, if this rail share increases to 30% of total European freight traffic by 2030 (currently at 18%), then, around 290 million tonnes of CO2 emissions can be saved, along with 40,000 deaths from environmental pollution, and 5,000 road deaths from truck accidents can be avoided.

As a result of these staggering projections, GATX Rail Europe is focusing on the "Intelligent Freight Train", which requires the following upgrades:

  • Automated Operations
  • DAC
  • Energy & Data Management
  • Electro-Pneumatic Brakes

The retrofitting of 400,000 to 500,000 freight cars with DAC in a consistent European-wide migration scenario will be of absolute importance for the "Intelligent Freight Train". DAC ensures reliable power supply and data communication in the train formation and the automation of operational processes. This increases the system’s speed in rail freight traffic and makes single-wagonload-traffic more attractive. GATX Rail Europe will be at the forefront of this development.

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