by Keri Allan
17 Oct 2022
digital automatic coupling
In order to equip approximately 500,000 freight wagons across Europe with digital automatic coupling (DAC), Deutsche Bahn (DB) plans to complete the retrofit of wagons at pop-up workshops.
This will shorten the amount of time wagons are unavailable to customers by completing the work closer to where the freight vehicles are used.
DAC speeds up shunting, increases capacity at transhipment yards and boosts the capacity of existing rail infrastructure.
Retrofitting wagons with DAC means they’re also being equipped with continuous power and data lines for the first time. This strengthens a single wagon transport’s standing as a green alternative to lorries.
To achieve this, DB and its partner companies plan to set up 150 pop-up locations throughout Europe.
First the wagons will be pre-equipped during normal visits to the maintenance depot. Once wagons are DAC-ready, retrofitting will be completed at a pop-up workshop using a simple ‘plug in’ process.
The mobile workshop tent concept has already been successfully trialled by DB Cargo at a pop-up site in Bremen.
“Test runs through Europe have proven that digital automatic coupling works in practice. The next step is to find solutions for installing DAC in freight wagons quickly and efficiently.
“We have shown that it can be done with our innovative approach of using pop-up workshops. In just a few steps, we can convert an analogue freight wagon into a smart, digital one.
“The mobile workshops will allow us to make thousands of freight wagons fit for the digital future in a short span of time.”
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