CZ/SK verze

Czechia and Slovakia are Railroad Powerhouses in Digital Automatic Coupling

Czechia and Slovakia are Railroad Powerhouses in Digital Automatic Coupling
photo: ČD Cargo Logistics / Public domain/ČD Cargo
26 / 04 / 2024

In an era where efficiency and sustainability are paramount, Czechia and Slovakia are establishing themselves as powerful players in the development of Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) technology within the European rail sector.

This advancement is reflected in their active participation in the pre-deployment trains initiative, a part of Europe's Rail Freight DAC Delivery Programme. The recent online session Moving European Rail Freight Forward, aimed to rally stakeholders around the next steps in deploying DAC technologies, showcased Czech and Slovak commitment, with them collectively participating in eight pre-deployment DAC initiatives—three from the Czech Republic and five from Slovakia. This is a substantial engagement compared to other nations, such as France with five projects and Norway with four, with Germany leading at eleven.


Source: Europe’s Rail

The DAC technology is crucial for boosting efficiency and safety in rail freight operations, and it has clearly garnered strong support from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, establishing them as key players in modernizing European freight logistics.

Overall, as of today, the project includes over 560 wagons and more than 40 locomotives throughout Europe, including from France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, and Hungary. It was also mentioned during the meeting that there’s quite substantial interest in the PDT initiative, with participation from 47 diverse companies, including railway undertakings, vehicle keepers, and service providers. 

Jens Engelmann, co-leader of the European DAC Delivery Programme, highlighted the growing enthusiasm for the DAC initiative, noting that even countries previously skeptical are now interested in joining the initiative. “If you want to participate, we will never say no,” he said.

Along with Karel van Gils, Director of Innovation & New Technology and member of the Executive Committee of ProRail, Engelmann also emphasized the open-ended invitation to more countries and companies to take part in the program, suggesting that the deadline for joining would likely coincide with or follow shortly after Innotrans 2024.

It’s clear that Digital Automatic Coupling is to become a new system standard in rail freight, turning rail transportation into a climate-friendly and efficient field. As Deutsche Bahn stated, with the DAC, freight trains, whose speed is currently limited to 120 km/h, will be able to adapt much better to the speed of passenger transport, which will subsequently lead to more capacity in the network.