Knorr-Bremse Starts Real-World Testing of DAC in Sweden

Knorr-Bremse Starts Real-World Testing of DAC in Sweden
© Knorr-Bremse

Knorr-Bremse, a global leader in braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles, has begun real-world testing of its Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC) on a freight train in Sweden.

Knorr-Bremse aims to bring rail freight into the 21st century with system solutions such as the DAC and has already made significant progress in its development, now progressing into testing under real-world conditions in Scandinavia.

Initially, the train operated by Trafikverket CFL will include six DAC test cars, eventually rising to as many as 20 test cars. The vehicle is expected to cover around 100,000 kilometres each year.

The tests will be carried out under the patronage of the EU’s research and innovation program, Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking (EU-Rail). The EU aims to shift a substantial proportion of the freight currently transported by truck over to greener rail transportation by 2030, and innovations like the DAC are crucial to meeting this target. According to the EU, DAC is one of the key innovations required to make European rail freight more efficient, flexible, and competitive. Still, it is not welcomed by all rail freight operators in Europe, with high implementation costs mentioned as the biggest obstacle. Currently, around 500,000 freight cars and 17,000 locomotives are still coupled manually, representing a vast future market for automation and digitalization.

Knorr-Bremse aims to become the leading supplier of automated system solutions for freight transportation by 2026. In addition to the DAC, it has also developed a portfolio of passenger train coupling systems, and recently secured its first order for its new transit couplers. The company will begin equipping a large metro fleet in Milan for Hitachi Rail Italy at the end of 2023, with the first trains scheduled to enter service in 2025.

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