CZ/SK verze

Who will pay for the DAC project? ŽESNADCZ proposes an Automatic coupler only for newly manufactured wagons

Who will pay for the DAC project? ŽESNADCZ proposes an Automatic coupler only for newly manufactured wagons
photo: Archives/ŽESNAD.CZ Oldřich Sládek, Martin Hořínek
31 / 01 / 2022

Last week, a train with an innovative digital automatic coupler was inaugurated in Germany within the DAC4EU consortium for a several-month practical test. The realization of this project is considered a revolution in rail freight transport. Thanks to this innovation, the digitization, and automation of rail freight transport will be accelerated, thus its competitiveness via road transport.

The project is still in the testing phase, within which all technical aspects of the new technology are to get resolved. However, financial issues do not get resolved. Who will cover the costs of this investment and how?

The Association of Railway Freight Carriers of the Czech Republic, ŽESNAD.CZ, which has over 30 members of the Czech market, has published an honest commentary on the automatic coupler on its website.

ŽESNAD.CZ recognizes the need and does not question the introduction of new technologies in rail freight transport. However, it challenges the financing of the DAC's deployment. It points out that a different solution should be used in recent large-scale EU-mandated projects (implementation of ETCS or silent brake blocks), where haulers bear the most costs.

Therefore, ŽESNAD.CZ proposes the installation of DAC only in newly manufactured cars, which at the same time must continue to be backward compatible with the existing coupling (hook and screwdriver). ŽESNAD.CZ points out that non-EU carriers also run on the network.

The members of the DAC4EU consortium are the freight operators DB Cargo and its parent company Deutsche Bahn, SBB Cargo and Rail Cargo Austria, and the wagon keepers of VTG GATX GATX Rail Europe, and Ermewa. The new digital automatic coupling (DAC) gets expected to get widely deployed in the EU by 2030.

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