Adaptive control (RCS-ADL): the green wave.

Adaptive control ensures that unplanned stops ahead of signals are avoided. This saves electricity and ensures better punctuality.

Adaptive control (ADL) conflict function.

RCS-ADL conflict calculates and prevents sudden braking or stopping caused by signals by recommending speeds. Trains can run smoothly and energy-efficiently, with less wear on materials.

Adaptive control (ADL) eco function.

RCS-ADL eco calculates an energy-optimised driving profile in real time for the entire route. Means lower driving resistance, resulting in traction energy savings.

As rail traffic increases, so do energy requirements, energy costs and wear and tear on rolling stock and train paths. RCS-ADL plays an important role in the economic and ecological use of these resources.

As part of RCS-Dispo, RCS-ADL (adaptive control) calculates an energy-optimised driving profile in real time for the entire route during ongoing railway operations. In order to do this, it analyses the entire network online while evaluating the driving situations of all the trains on it. The driving profile calculated by ADL for an individual train takes into account the timetable requirements, the forecast for the respective train as well as the current operating situation of all other trains.

Based on these calculations, RCS-ADL provides speed recommendations which the rail traffic dispatcher in the train-control centre approves and which are then immediately transmitted to the engine driver. This allows the train to run smoothly, energy-efficiently and in a resource-saving manner. These are just driving recommendations, not firm instructions. External signals continue to have priority.


  • increases energy efficiency
  • enables engine drivers to drive smoothly
  • prevents unnecessary stops and improves punctuality
  • lessens wear on rolling stock and train paths

Figures and facts

Today in Switzerland more than 2000 trains are controlled by RCS-ADL every day, saving more than 200,000 kilowatt-hours per day. Over one year, this corresponds to the energy consumption of 18,500 households, or a savings potential of 8.1 million Swiss francs.


In late 2015, SBB received the  Watt d’Or energy prize from the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) in the energy-efficient mobility category.