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Connected Driver Advisory System (C-DAS) Strategy Paper

1. Introduction

C-DAS is a piece of technology which delivers significant benefits.

These include:
• Better train regulation to optimise network capacity and performance
• Improved recovery from disruption
• Improved support for conflict resolution (based on predicted running of trains),
• Reductions in energy use and carbon emissions
• Reductions in wear and tear, e.g. wheelsets and brake equipment.

Its concept has been around for over 10 years. Comprehensive detail of C-DAS is contained in an industry document entitled ‘Concept of Operations for a Connected Driver Advisory System (C-DAS)’
The document can also be downloaded from the RDG website at:

Whilst there have been numerous trials of C-DAS across the network, comprehensive application of the system has never materialised. However, circumstances have changed recently and suggest that network-wide introduction of C-DAS would address a number of existing and newly emerging challenges.

These include the need to:
• Significantly reduce industry operating costs as a consequence of a reduction in passenger revenue
• Reduce industry carbon emissions
• Reduce UK transport carbon emissions through modal shift
• Improve air quality through reduced particulate emissions including NoX and Sox.
As an example, traction energy alone costs the rail industry £1.1bn per annum (2019-2020 data). 88% of this cost has transferred from the former privatised passenger sector to the Treasury.

A trial of C-DAS in 2014 at Airport Junction, 10 miles west of Paddington, revealed that there was a 36% improvement in energy efficiency. If C-DAS was introduced across the network and only improved energy efficiency by, say, 20%, this would equate to a saving of £221m per annum for the industry (at 2021 prices).
The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of the benefits of C-DAS especially in light of recent economic, environmental and social changes. The benefits of C-DAS should now be reconsidered by industry and placed on the agenda of relevant industry forums and platforms.

Download the full paper here – C-DAS Strategy Paper 6.4.22


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