Deutsche Bahn (DB) offers the installation of a digital automatic coupler (DAC) in temporary workshops. With around 500,000 freight wagons due to be equipped with DAC in Europe by 2030, DB is using mobile workshops where freight wagons can be quickly equipped with new technology close to where they are used, such as at industrial customer sites. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to the Global Railway Review.


Temporary workshops will help create additional modernization capacity and reduce the time during which wagons are unavailable to customers. DB Cargo, Europe’s leading freight company, has successfully completed its first practical test in Bremen.

“Testing in Europe has proven that the digital automatic coupler works in practice,” says Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, Board Member of DB Freight. “The next step is to find solutions to quickly and efficiently install DAC on freight cars. We have shown that this can be done with our innovative temporary workshop approach. In just a few steps, we can turn an analog freight car into a smart digital one. Mobile workshops will allow us to prepare thousands of freight wagons for the digital future in a short period of time.”

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Before the DAC is installed, the freight cars are pre-prepared at the depot. Once they are ready to install the DAC, it only takes a few steps to finish their retrofitting at the temporary workshop. The conversion works similar to Plug & Play. Deutsche Bahn and its partner companies want to open 150 mobile locations across Europe.

DAC speeds up shunting operations, increases the capacity of transfer stations and increases the capacity of existing rail infrastructure. The upgrade of the wagons with the DAC system means that the wagons are also being equipped with uninterrupted power and data lines for the first time.

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