Italy to start DAC tests, industry remains highly sceptical

Image: Knorr-Bremse

The Italian Agency for the Safety of Railways and Road and Motorway Infrastructures (ANSFISA) recently announced that tests for the Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) will soon commence in the country. However, many industry representatives pointed out that this is not necessarily the initiative Italy needs. It is also not clear how Italy will carry out these tests, as the current DAC framework seems to bring forward more questions than answers.

One of the main points of critique mentioned by various sources is that the deployment of DAC should not be a priority as there are other more pressing issues that would cost significantly less and be more beneficial. More specifically, sources lamented that DAC implementation would cost billions of euros but only benefit certain segments of the sector.

On the other hand, with roughly 40 million euros, it would be possible to create a fund to compensate operators for losses due to infrastructure closures. “They cannot find 40 million euros to keep companies alive in the next few years but now they are talking about deploying billions to implement DAC. It’s an absurd initiative”, a source told RailFreight.com.

How will it work?

The DAC pilot in Italy should involve six trains and over 120 wagons, which should be tested between 2026 and 2027, as the head of ANSFISA said during a meeting held in Venice. The Agency was contacted for further information but no answer has been provided as of yet. For example, it is not clear in which context Italy will enter the DAC game. Currently, there are three DAC projects in the Old Continent: DACFIT, DAC4EU and the FP5-TRANS4M-R. However, the differences between these programmes and their scopes remain somewhat of a mystery.

A divisive topic

The DAC implementation plan for Europe has been sparking different reactions across the continent. Germany, Switzerland and Austria are at the forefront of the project and recently underlined how EU Member States need to step up their game and commit to the initiative. However, there are also critics of DAC and its implementation plan all across the Old Continent. Industry players from Poland and Czechia, for example, have been highlighting their concerns, especially when it comes to DAC testing.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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Italy to start DAC tests, industry remains highly sceptical | RailFreight.com

Italy to start DAC tests, industry remains highly sceptical

Image: Knorr-Bremse

The Italian Agency for the Safety of Railways and Road and Motorway Infrastructures (ANSFISA) recently announced that tests for the Digital Automatic Coupling (DAC) will soon commence in the country. However, many industry representatives pointed out that this is not necessarily the initiative Italy needs. It is also not clear how Italy will carry out these tests, as the current DAC framework seems to bring forward more questions than answers.

One of the main points of critique mentioned by various sources is that the deployment of DAC should not be a priority as there are other more pressing issues that would cost significantly less and be more beneficial. More specifically, sources lamented that DAC implementation would cost billions of euros but only benefit certain segments of the sector.

On the other hand, with roughly 40 million euros, it would be possible to create a fund to compensate operators for losses due to infrastructure closures. “They cannot find 40 million euros to keep companies alive in the next few years but now they are talking about deploying billions to implement DAC. It’s an absurd initiative”, a source told RailFreight.com.

How will it work?

The DAC pilot in Italy should involve six trains and over 120 wagons, which should be tested between 2026 and 2027, as the head of ANSFISA said during a meeting held in Venice. The Agency was contacted for further information but no answer has been provided as of yet. For example, it is not clear in which context Italy will enter the DAC game. Currently, there are three DAC projects in the Old Continent: DACFIT, DAC4EU and the FP5-TRANS4M-R. However, the differences between these programmes and their scopes remain somewhat of a mystery.

A divisive topic

The DAC implementation plan for Europe has been sparking different reactions across the continent. Germany, Switzerland and Austria are at the forefront of the project and recently underlined how EU Member States need to step up their game and commit to the initiative. However, there are also critics of DAC and its implementation plan all across the Old Continent. Industry players from Poland and Czechia, for example, have been highlighting their concerns, especially when it comes to DAC testing.

Also read:

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access? Take advantage of our exclusive offer

See the offer

Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.