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“Connecting Europe Express” recently visited Basel

“Connecting Europe Express” recently visited Basel
photo: Rail Cargo Group / Public domain/“Connecting Europe Express” recently visited Basel
30 / 09 / 2021

By the special train “Connecting Europe Express” within the year of rail, EU and European railway companies want to develop rail transport and contribute to the achievement of European climate targets. The train serves as a platform for discussions about the future of railways and their contribution to mitigating climate change. From September 2 to October 7, the train will stop in many cities. Various events and an exhibition in a special carriage invite interested parties to get acquainted with new technologies and infrastructure projects in rail transport in Europe.

On the occasion of the arrival of the Connecting Europe Express in Basel, the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) and the rail freight industry presented a declaration of intent to implement digital automatic coupling. This is done in close coordination with European partners. This makes rail freight more competitive, which in turn contributes to climate protection. Close industry cooperation, coordination with Europe and a strong commitment to SBB Cargo are important success factors.

On the morning of 28 September, the “Connecting Europe Express” - a special EU train - stopped at the Wolf freight station in Basel. 2021 has been declared the “European Year of the Rail”, an initiative sponsored by the European Commission. The initiative is part of the EU's Green Deal for Europe strategy to make Europe the first CO2-neutral continent by 2050. The transportation of goods by rail plays a key role on this route.

BAV, VöV and VAP will equip all cars and locomotives with a digital automatic clutch (DAK). Today, freight cars still have to be maneuvered by hand. The process is complex and involves health and safety risks. With DAK, bogies and brake lines are automatically connected together in a very short time. In addition, cars must be connected to the DAK via power and data lines. This means that the train information needed to travel is immediately available digitally.

Automation, especially digital automatic clutch, is at the heart of future rail freight transport: it enables safe and quick train preparation and formation processes, as well as faster and cheaper delivery. Yesterday, the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the Public Transport Association (VöV) and the Handling Industry Association (VAP) have agreed to work on equipping all wagons and locomotives in Switzerland with a digital automatic clutch. FOT Director Peter Füglistaler mentioned: “This is an important step. The new coupling technology can significantly increase the competitiveness of rail freight transport.”

Attending the event SBB CEO Désirée Baer said: “In this way, we are laying another foundation for competitive rail freight. This is essential to achieve the government's climate targets. SBB Cargo and its partners want to continue to modernize and thus strengthen rail freight as the logistics backbone of Switzerland and Europe.”