DAC4EU demonstrator train in Vorarlberg

10. 02. 2022

The Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) prototypes have been in Austria for several days undergoing the first comprehensive tests. The first stop for the DAC4EU demonstrator train: Vorarlberg.

In the following you can read what exactly has been tested and where.

DAC can be seen as a milestone in process optimisation and digitalisation and is destined to make a substantial contribution to transforming railway freight transport.  Since early February the prototypes of two Scharfenberg coupler designs from the manufacturer, Voith und Dellner have been in Austria for the first time, where they have undergone a variety of tests at several railway stations and industrial sidings. Thereafter the DAC4EU demonstrator train will travel onwards into Switzerland.

Things get going in Vorarlberg

During the first few days the DAC4EU demonstrator train halted in Rankweil and Langen am Arlberg. In Rankweil shunting tests on the level and coupling tests, in other words, coupling and decoupling tests were performed. The local shunting and carriage and wagon examiner staff received comprehensive training in these techniques; this gave the staff their first opportunity to become familiar in practical terms with DAC.

Then the DAC4EU demonstrator train travelled on to Langen am Arlberg. What happens, when DAC spends an entire weekend at a standstill in winter weather conditions? That is exactly what was tested in Langen at icy sub-zero temperatures. For this purpose the wagons were uncoupled and left standing. The insights and inputs gained are taken into account for the necessary further development of DAC, in order to be able in the long term to start production. Especially in Austria and more specifically in the Alpine region it is imperative to know how DAC will behave in frosty temperatures, even when it is not in operation. Therefore the interesting question was whether the coupling mechanism would work faultlessly again after this cold weekend at a standstill.

And we can now reveal: fortunately the coupling mechanism worked without a problem and so the DAC4EU demonstrator train continued onwards to its next station stops in Styria.

We will tell you in the next instalment how things went there. Stay tuned!

The DAC4EU consortium, consisting of the consortium leader DB AG, the freight railways ÖBB Rail Cargo Group, DB Cargo and SBB Cargo as well as the wagon operators Ermewa, GATX Rail Europe and VTG, is committed to preparing the selection of a coupling design for a Europe-wide roll-out. The consortium began its work in June 2020. The BMDV is financing the DAC4EU project with around 13 million euros over the project period of two and a half years.

The Federal Ministry Republic of Austria for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) is supporting the TARO Project, which also addresses matters related to the DAC with a total of 3.5 million euros from the FTI Program Mobility of the Future (Mobilität der Zukunft), managed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) 


Learn more about DAC here.