DAC Sector: Rail freight digitisation to meet EU greening targets

DAC Sector: Rail freight digitisation to meet EU greening targets
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Pablo Castagnola

Representatives of the rail freight industry express their strong commitment and support for the implementation of the DAC.


AERRL, CER, EAL, EIM, FEDECRAIL, UIP, UIRR, UITP, UNIFE call on the European Commission and the Member States to start working together on the political, budgetary and legal framework for a coordinated European deployment of DAC and its automation and digital technology. They also underline the need to establish a centralised European Deployment Management Entity, as specified in the study "Europe's Rail Joint Undertaking EU DAC Investment Plan", in order to ensure the necessary coordination at European level.

The statement says that automation and digitisation will enable rail freight to become more efficient and attractive for service providers and shippers and will bring relevant benefits to European society in general.

"It will increase the underestimated growth potential of single wagonload traffic and strengthen the role of intermodal transport, both strategic segments for modal shift," the statement said, adding: "In particular, together with ERTMS developments, they will help to increase infrastructure capacity. They will also improve safety at work and address the predicted labour shortage in the sector by replacing obsolete, mostly outdated, mostly manually operated technologies of the past, in particular the coupling of freight wagons".

Nevertheless, other industry players are opposed to EU plans to introduce Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) across the entire EU freight fleet by 2030. They point to the lack of common standards for both the mechanical and digital/electrical parts of the solution, and the need for proper testing to assess what they see as the costs and benefits of automation.

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