On the 1st of March 2023, the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament held an exchange of views with the European Commission, on the Digital automatic coupling (DAC) in rail freight transport. The representatives of the Commission briefed MEPs on the significance of DAC and updated them on the latest state of affairs regarding its development. An important part of the discussion focused on financing mechanisms for DAC.
Keir Fitch, Head of Unit for Rail Safety & Interoperability in DG MOVE, European Commission said that it is a good timing to have this discussion. He said that digital automatic coupling (DAC) is a means of coupling (and uncoupling) rail freight wagons together automatically. He explained that currently there is a man screwing them – a practice that hasn’t changed since the 19th century. He said that this is inefficient, time consuming and dangerous manual work. Referring to why this is important, he said that an important part of achieving the goals of the European Green Deal, Fit for 55 and other programmes is boosting the rail sector so that the EU can hit its decarbonisation targets.
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