Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC)

Ermewa is proud to be an active partner in this innovative project that will revolutionise rail freight transport throughout Europe.


Digital Automatic Coupling automatically connects freight cars as well as their lines for power, data, and compressed air, without any need for strenuous physical work. It will open the door to a system of rail freight transport that is fully automated and digitalised.

The demonstrator, tests and approval are carried out by the European consortium DAC4EU (Digital Automatic Coupling for Europe) consisting of equal partners: Ermewa, Deutsche Bahn AG and its subsidiary DB Cargo, GATX, Rail Cargo Austria, SBB Cargo and VTG. The consortium is commissioned and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) with around 13 million Euros over a period of 2 years ½ .

The DAC4EU test results and other test programmes contributed to the decision-making process by the European DAC Delivery Programme (EDDP). The ‘Scharfenberg’ latch-type design has been selected as the future Europe-wide Digital Automatic Coupling standard coupler head.

EDDP (European DAC Delivery Programme – enabled by Europe’s Rail) offers a unique European platform for a fruitful and efficient cooperation between railway undertakings, infrastructure managers and wagon keepers as well as the rail supply industry, entities in charge of maintenance, concerned sector organisations, rail research centers and national and European political institutions.

The DAC is key to achieve the ambitious objectives set out in the EU Green Deal (reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, emitted and absorbed, in 2030 compared to 1990: -55%) and to enable the needed increase in efficiency and transparency of rail freight. It is a key factor for a massive modal shift to rail.

Video source: Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking  




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Coupling tests