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DB Cargo is working together with ProRail and the relevant ministries in the Netherlands and Germany, among others, on a trial with ATO (Automatic Train Operation) on the Betuweroute. The German federal government is making almost 19 million euros available for this.

Automatically driving trains (ATO) are the future. This innovative train transport results in an even more efficient use of energy and rail. This is not only sustainable, but it also provides more quality and punctuality.

ATO, together with other system leaps such as ERTMS, is seen as an important innovation for the future of rail. As early as 2019, the parties involved signed a joint letter of intent to further support freight transport. ATO is one of the initiatives that will be further developed.

The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is financing their part of the trial as part of the federal program ‘Zukunft Schienengüterverkehr’ with 18.9 million euros, of which DB Cargo AG will receive 17.5 million euros. The project is a joint project of DB Cargo AG, DB Cargo Nederland, Digital Rail Germany (DSD), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and ProRail.


ATO live event

On October 14, 2021, a number of parties from the Dutch rail sector, including DB Cargo, ProRail and Arriva, presented their vision on what is needed to be able to roll out ATO on the Dutch rail network during a special conference. Read the summary here (Dutch text only).

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