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Technologies for Sustainable & Attractive European Rail Freight

IP Coordinator: Norbert Kahl - DB

EDDP Structure

Structural evolution: EDDP structure and Europe’s Rail FP5-TRANS4M-R

To allow a fully-fledged technical development of DAC and the DAC applications/ automation components at sufficient budget, the “Full Digital Freight Train Operations” (FDFTO) project was established within the Europe’s Rail Flagship Project 5 (FP5) in the course of 2022. 
The Europe’s Rail JU Flagship Project 5 (project name: FP5-TRANS4M-R) builds on all EDDP WP’s achievements (mainly WPs 1, 2, 7 and 8) and is run by a project consortium under a project contract. FP5-TRANS4M-R will set-up the operational procedures, functional requirements and system architecture related to DAC and deliver the DAC technology, developed, tested and expected to be ready for authorisation and deployment by end-2025. To ensure the integration of the DAC target operational processes and final DAC technology into the overall European rail system architecture, a respective task was anchored in the Europe’s Rail System Pillar. The EDDP structure was consequently developed further. The future EDDP work focuses on the main areas for the preparation of DAC migration & deployment (including the DAC migration roadmap). The structure and governance of these DAC-related areas within the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking was decided in the EDDP’s Supervisory Board on 13 December 2022 for implementation as of beginning-2023 (see picture below).

Full sector transparency via the Sounding Boards

Trust-building in the community is key for the success of such transformation programmes. To allow all former EDDP WP 1, 2, 7 and 8 members and everybody else to further follow-up the DAC evolution as well as to ensure transparency on the development for the rail freight sector actors (EDDP members and beyond), a possibility for giving feedback on adopted FP5-TRANS4M-R results was created in the form of two so called “FP5 Full Digital Freight Train Operations Sounding Boards” (Sounding Boards), one for DAC operational procedures and one for DAC technology.


Procedural arrangements for all sounding boards: 
  • Preparatory documents will be provided by FP5-TRANS4M-R to the registered Sounding Board members approx. one week in advance of a meeting
  • Sounding Board members to prepare themselves prior to the meeting
  • FP5-TRANS4M-R will gather feedback during the Sounding Board meetings
  • Sounding Board members will be asked to vote for the presented information (documented by FP5-TRANS4M-R)
  • FP5-TRANS4M-R will thereafter assess the received recommendation/advice and may decide to process it as appropriate. The result of the sounding board meetings will be reported in the EDDP Programme Board meetings.
The sounding boards therefore act in a support role, conveying participants’ feedback to the EDDP Board meetings. The contributions from the sounding board members would be addressed to the FP5-TRANS4M-R or the Europe’s Rail JU System Pillar, which would need to assess them and possibly consider taking them up. The sounding board meetings will be held virtually minimum twice a year. 
All interested parties from the European rail sector (incl. the members of the former EDDP WP 1, 2, 7 and 8) are invited to stay regularly updated on the DAC progress by simply applying for sounding board membership via the application form.

Continuation of the other EDDP WPs within EDDP structure

The EDDP WPs 3, 4, 5 and 6 are not affected by the creation of the FP5-TRANS4M-R and continue to work on their assigned subjects. They cover the different EDDP actions as shown below. The WPs leads remain unchanged. WP 6 is now associated to the EDDP PM’s stakeholder management activities.




Structure and Contributors


SB1 - Sounding Board 1: DAC Operational Procedures

State of play of DAC developments on target and transitional operational procedures determining the functional requirements for the DAC technical development. This sounding board targets operational procedures for full digital freight train operations (DAC and DAC automation components/train functions) which shall be applicable throughout Europe. Where required, transitional operational procedures to be applied for the migration period and their impact on functional requirements for technology.

Meetings: approx. 2 per year

Required participant expertise: rail freight operations (planning/execution) background

Linked former EDDP WPs: WP 1, WP 7

SB2 - Sounding Board 2: DAC Technology

State of play of DAC technology development (DAC and DAC automation components/train functions). This sounding board considers the coordination and development of the necessary functional requirements, system architecture, testing results, technical specifications and authorisation processes to ensure that DAC technology adheres to those requirements and specifications developed.

Meetings: approx. 2 per year

Required participant expertise: technical background

Linked former EDDP WPs: WP 1, WP 2, WP 7, WP 8

WP1 - Technology, Operations and Standardisation *

* This WP is not active anymore as per the new structure illustrated above.

The main objective of this Work Package is to develop a technical definition and standardisation of the product. It will propose a coordinated approach for the development of an open EU DAC product specification as well as assessment criteria for an applicable DAC type in the EU, including mechanical, pneumatic, electric and data. This activity will feed into the new issue of EU TSI 2022 with a new version of TSI Wagon with a reference to the digital automatic coupler as interoperable and constituent-based, assuring interoperability at European level. This Work Package also covers the standardisation within CENELEC and all the necessary safety assessments of DAC for the approval of the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), as well as the impact on the safety management system of railway undertakings and infrastructure managers, etc. It also covers the definition of DAC integration with locomotives and other rail vehicles by means of hybrid DAC versions.



WP LEADER

WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP2 - Testing & Demonstrators & Pilot Projects *

* This WP is not active anymore as per the new structure illustrated above.

This Work Package works around the coordination and development of all necessary tests and pilot projects within the programme. This activity includes, among others, the writing of the necessary test specifications at each project stage. It will first test the different DAC Prototypes (SA3 Type, Scharfenberg Type, Schwab Type ) in preparation for the selection of the future DAC standard at an EU level. During the second stage it will focus on pilot testing the selected type to assure product adherence to specifications. It will also test DAC integration with locomotives in hybrid DAC versions.



WP LEADER

WP LEADER

WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP3 - Migration

The main aim of this Work Package is to develop a migration plan for the conversion of the whole EU wagon fleet. The challenge is to set the guidelines on how this fleet of an estimated size of 450.000-500.000 wagons can be converted from hook coupling to digital automatic coupling. This migration plan will need to take into account several key elements, such as time balance, migration between new build and retrofit, migration delivery capacity, wagon approvals and migration strategy. It will additionally need to define migration strategies that are aligned with interoperability and the Single European Rail Area (SERA), as well as with the supply and logistics chains. This Work Package will also take into account the necessary new interfaces for rail freight traffic with non-EU countries (Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Turkey etc.). 



WP LEADER

WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP4 - Rail System Capacity and Green Deal

This Work Package aims to deliver a quantitative and qualitative indication of the impact on implemenatation of the DAC in the whole EU freight traffic. This will mainly happen by delivering a much higher capacity in the rail freight network (necessary for fulfilling the European Green Deal goals of shifting freight from roads to rail) and achieving train integrity. This means a major leap for a safe implementation of ERTMS up to its highest level thus delivering a safer and more uniform SERA.


WP LEADER

WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP5 - Costs, Business Cases and Financing

The aim of this Work Package is to deliver a comprehensive and sound financial framework for the deployment of the Digital Automatic Coupler in the whole EU freight fleet. This activity heavily depends on the specifications of the actual cost of the product and the eventual necessary retrofits of the fleet. It also needs a set of defined use cases that will serve as a foundation for the global cost benefit analysis where the competitive advantage of the DAC can be quantified and assessed in terms of return on the investment. It will also assess the migration plan, the financial needs of the project and identify financial models to base and support the deployment of the Digital Automatic Coupler in the whole EU freight rail fleet.


WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP6 - Communication and Dissemination

This Work Package seeks to ensure proper dissemination and promotion of the project in a way which is consistent with the wider dissemination and promotion activities within Shift2Rail. It will ensure that the outputs of the project are delivered in a form which makes them immediately available for use by further activities within the initiative. It will also ensure that all important actors in the European railway sector are informed about the results. In that sense, an additional and crucial objective is to facilitate the deployment of the EU DAC among the rail freight community and the main actors of the European railway and logistics sector.


WP LEADER

WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP7 - Further innovation for the “Intelligent Freight Train” *

* This WP is not active anymore as per the new structure illustrated above.

The aim of this Work Package is to serve as an ‘Integrator and Concentrator’ of all possible innovations built around the digital backbone that the DAC provides to freight trains. DAC is a great enabler for multiple and very necessary freight applications that will make freight rail more competitive compared to other means of freight transport. It will aslo harness the necessary multimodality for further integration of freight with other means of transport. Furthermore, it is a great enabler for the electronic logistics (paperless) world with automatic consignment notes, integration with TAF TSI and future developments, and the internet of logistics, etc. It will also pave the way for key future operational improvements and necessary automation within the rail freight world (electric brake, automatic brake test, automatic calculation of braking profiles for freight trains, fully automated yard and marshaling, dispatching and loading, etc.).



WP LEADER

WP LEADER

CONTRIBUTORS






WP8 - Authorisation strategy (vehicle retrofit) *

* This WP is not active anymore as per the new structure illustrated above.

The scope of this Work Package is to provide guidance and develop the necessary documentation for the European Rail Freight Sector for the retrofitting of existing freight wagons and existing locomotives with the DAC. The main objective is to ensure that the workload for vehicle authorisation remains manageable – for Sector stakeholders as well as Authorities. In doing so, the Work Package will assess whether legal barriers exist to “low burden” retrofitting, and it will have regular exchanges with the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) and – if necessary – the European Commission. The Work Package intends to provide the relevant documentation for the risk assessment, the requirements capture, and the self-assessment of the existing fleet. Furthermore, the conditions – when or not to apply vehicle authorisation to existing freight wagons and locomotives – should be elaborated. If necessary, inputs to practical arrangements on vehicle authorisation, draft TSI, NB-Rail RfU, ERA clarification note on DAC, and other legal documents will be provided.


WP LEADER




Results and Publications

DAC - Cost Benefit Analysis

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All deliverables, results and publications herewith provided reflects only the author's view and the S2R JU is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

In light of substantial ongoing research and testing activities, the CBA results in this report should be considered preliminary and shall be adjusted based on updated insights. For the CBA it is critical to gain greater certainty on the final coupler and fitting costs, as well as the detailed implementation plan.
Concerning the benefits, a deeper insight needs to be gained into the total number of (shunting) trips and the additional use cases that are enabled by DAC. Further sector feedback is required to better understand the applicability of use cases for specific business segments, such as combined transport. The results of these discussions are likely to have an impact on the implementation plan and proposed technical solutions, which shall impact the overall results of the CBA. Notwithstanding these limitations, the performed sensitivity analyses and expert feedback highlight that these first CBA results provide a robust indication of the possible economic value of deploying DAC in Europe.