UIC original principal task: to harmonise and improve conditions for railway constructions and operations
- The idea of creating an international organisation, bringing together the railway companies, was developed in the wake of the international conference of Portorosa, in Italy on 23 November 1921, followed by the international conference of Geneva on 3 May 1922.
- State representatives favoured the “creation of a permanent rail administration focusing on international traffic for the standardisation and improvement of conditions of railway construction and operations “. The international conference founding UIC was held in Paris on 17 October 1922.
- Initially the UIC had 51 members from 29 countries including Japan and China, which were soon joined by the railways from the USSR, the Middle East and North Africa.