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European DAC Investment Plan

This report provides an investment plan which would enable the deployment of Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC) and thereby revolutionise the European rail freight industry, further strengthening the EU’s overall sustainable and digital strategy.

Currently, rail freight operations are still dependent on many manual, cost-intensive and strenuous processes, which are not in line with the EU’s overarching vision of digitalisation, low-emission transport nor modern working conditions.

In this respect, one of the key enablers towards full digital train operations is a new DAC technology that has been developed both within Europe’s Rail and by different other national programmes. DAC enables an automated coupling and uncoupling of wagons. This increases the capacity of terminals, improves the performance and safety of the railway system, and thus opens the potential for shifts from road to rail transport, reductions in CO2 emissions and economic growth. Especially, it enables intelligent wagons powering them with energy and digital information that will create new services and opportunities for clients, answering long due demands.