3 December 2020
Representatives of the Technical Innovation Circle for Rail Freight Transport (TIS) had the opportunity to inform themselves about the current status of tests on digital automatic coupling (DAC) systems during a conference in Goerlitz on 20 October 2020. Some of these tests are performed at the Goerlitz test centre of TÜV SÜD Rail GmbH.
The shift of freight transport from road to rail is an important building block in the transport transition plan implemented in Germany and Europe. A digital automatic coupling system will increase the capacity of rail freight transport and is thus a key prerequisite for strengthening the competitiveness of rail as a means of transport. The DAC4EU consortium is currently working on the development and testing of various coupling systems. Members of the consortium under the leadership of DB AG are Güterbahnen DB Cargo (Germany), Rail Cargo Group (Austria) and SBB Cargo (Switzerland) as well as rail car leasing companies Ermewa, GATX Rail Europe and VTG. The project is funded by approximately 13 million euros from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Currently, four prototype systems made by Voith (Germany), Dellner Couplers (Sweden), Faiveley Transport (Switzerland) and CAF (Spain) are being tested at the Goerlitz test centre of TÜV SÜD Rail GmbH. “Among the tests we are performing here are collision and drive tests using various track geometries and rail-car configurations”, says Felix Bührdel, rail expert at TÜV SÜD Rail’s test centre. “For example, each prototype coupling system must withstand more than 400 collision tests.” DB Systemtechnik GmbH accompanied the tests, providing advice and support with the measurement instruments and systems. After the trial phase in Goerlitz the consortium will select one type of coupling system, which will then be put through its paces in practice on a test train.
TÜV SÜD offers a comprehensive range of test services for rail vehicles and their components. The company operates its own test centres in Goerlitz and Halle/Saale for this purpose. The testing facility in Goerlitz extends over an area of roughly 50,000 m². A maximum speed of about 60 km/h is possible on this facility, providing ample scope for realising a wide variety of testing scenarios. At the test centre in Halle/Saale, the rail experts also perform on-track tests in the areas of running dynamic, brake systems, fatigue strength and pantographs. Testing is performed on both public railway networks and non-public test infrastructures (test rings).
Press-contact: Dr Thomas Oberst
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