About UIC

UIC’s mission

Promote rail transport globally with the objective of responding effectively to current and future challenges relating to mobility and sustainable development;

Develop and facilitate all forms of international cooperation among members and promote sharing of best practice;

Promote interoperability and develop and publish solutions to railway system related issues (IRSs);

Support members in their efforts to develop new business and areas of activity;

Propose new ways to improve the technical and environmental performance of rail transport, increase
competitiveness and reduce costs.

The railways remain an institution setting great store by service excellence and openness to progress.

Over the coming years, they will have to capitalise on these assets in order to survive, win and grow, particularly by:

  • Developing the overall coherence of the rail system at world level
  • Developing strategies and initiatives to improve business performance and increase rail transport investment;
  • Executing and managing projects/activities on non-commercial issues, including research, development and technical efficiency as far as necessary for the topic concerned.

UIC, the worldwide professional association representing the railway sector and promoting rail transport
UIC leads an innovative and dynamic sector, helping Members find continuing success and opportunities. Members are invited to take a proactive role in the UIC working groups and assemblies where the railways’ position on regional/worldwide issues is shaped. Active participation in the working groups is a unique opportunity to voice opinions and benefit from the weight of the railway sector at a coordinated worldwide level. UIC is the asso­ciation for technical cooperation amongst railways, and coordinates the sector’s position as it negotiates its evolving relationship with the supply industry and research and develops needs in order to draw full advantage of potential interest to railway companies. Members are regularly informed of key developments on the dossiers UIC deals with and which impact on their activities. This allows Members to anticipate regulatory and technical changes and integrate them effectively and more smoothly into their own business operational processes.

The mission and overall objectives for UIC activities result from the statutes that were unanimously adopted by the UIC Members at the General Assembly on 31 March 2009.

In accordance with the statutes, UIC’s mission has following main focuses:

Overall objectives for UIC
To enable UIC to effectively fulfil its mission, 3 levels have been defined for international cooperation activities:

  • Strategic level: coordination with and bet­ween the 6 UIC Regions created as part of the new Governance (activities steered by the UIC Regional Assemblies for Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Middle-East).
  • Technical/professional cooperation level (structured around the following railway activities): Passenger, Freight, Rail System –
    including infrastructure, rolling stock, opera­tions – and Fundamental Values including cross-sector activities such as Sustainable Development, Research Coordination, Safety, Security, Expertise Development). Strategic priorities for technical cooperation activities are set out by forums and platforms composed of member representatives.
  • Support services level: (Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Communications and Institutional Relations).

The UIC Executive Board and General Assembly additionally approved on 8 December 2009 the Chairman’s proposal to focus further UIC activities on 5 key areas to be developed in the interest of the worldwide railway community: Environment, Safety and Security, Signalling, Freight / Freight Corridors, Standardisation.

Vital points of the UIC action

5 areas have been determined as vital points to serve the global community. The table recalls the 5 areas and for each theme gives the key subjects addressed in 2012.

Global topicsProjects / Activities / Specific actions
Freight Heavy trains Long trains - Paperless documentation - Global Rail Freight Conference (GRFC) - Business Plans - GTE - ERI
Signalling CCS Conference
Environment CO2 reduction and rail transport communication - work with international environment entities
Safety / Security Safety and Security Congresses and conferences - Level Crossing - Safety database and enquiries
Standardisation Energy or GHG measures - Asset Management - Terminology (RailLexic)
UIC Members map (February 2023)

Three leading values:
“Unity, Solidarity, Universality”

At the General Assembly on 6 June 2009,
UIC Members unanimously agreed to structure UIC’s work around three core “values”:

UIC is the professional and technical association representing the unity of the railway
sector at world level. Some specific activities are organised at regional level and monitored by the 6 Regional Assemblies. Whenever
possible and useful for the railway community, efforts will be made to convert regional projects into multi-regional or global activities.

UIC represents Members with different features and levels of development. UIC will maintain its efforts to narrow the divide between the different situations, in particular by promoting exchanges of information, experience and best practice across the world. In addition, the General Assembly decided on 31 March 2009 to create a tool for financing specific solidarity actions with a dedicated solidarity fund.

UIC’s scope of activities is global and embraces the universality of railway topics. UIC can create a framework to develop new projects on all kinds of issues requested by Members. International projects may be developed within UIC study bodies for all issues needed by member railways. These can be topics related to specific railway technology (technology, operations, research) or more general cooperation activities (IT, Human Resources and Training, Regulatory and Legal, etc.).

UIC Facts and figures - 2017

Passenger transport - Passenger-kilometres (millions)

Freight transport - Tonne-kilometres (millions)

Line length (kilometres)

Employee numbers - Staff (full time equivalent - FTE)

High-speed traffic passenger-kilometres (billions)

UIC since 1922... a long-life organisation

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.

UIC Activity Report

UIC Activity Report 2020-2021

- PDF - 9.6 Mb

UIC Activity Report 2019

- PDF - 7.1 Mb

UIC Activity Report 2018

- PDF - 5.2 Mb


Manifesto for the UIC centenary

Manifesto for the UIC centenary - Rail solutions for a better future

- PDF - 2.4 Mb


This document, which is the joint result of the work of the UIC members in the different working groups, presents the development of concrete solutions taking into account the significant role of the railways and the need to:

  • transform cities and connect communities;
  • use clean energy, technology and innovation;
  • promote intermodality and seamless connections;
  • transform the customer experience.

With this Manifesto, UIC aims to show that the railways must act quickly in view of the urgency of the situation, must act in a coordinated manner between partners and must propose solutions that already exist or can be implemented quickly.

UIC Work programme

UIC Work Programme 2023-2025

- PDF - 12.2 Mb

UIC Work programme 2020-2022

- PDF - 6.4 Mb


UIC Corporate Brochure / UIC Membership Package

UIC - The worldwide railway organisation (2017)

Corporate brochure

- PDF - 3.1 Mb

UIC - L’organisation mondiale des chemins de fer (2017)

Brochure de présentation

- PDF - 3.1 Mb


UIC Technical Solutions for the operational railway

As the main technical body serving not only railway operators, but the entire community of railway stakeholders, including research centres and universities, UIC is a natural forum for bringing together all stakeholders and for developing collaborative global solutions.
This document, ranging from architecture to financial arrangements, provides an overview of the main achievements and developments in UIC. Depending on one’s different interests, it will give a synthetic description of operational solutions suited to market needs. It will be an efficient tool for summarising in a few pages the added value of UIC spread in different instruments and workflows:

  • 700 leaflets describing the entire railway system (with progressive conversion to +/- 300 International Railway Solutions)
  • Technical Specifications
  • Qualitative and quantitative guidelines
  • 118 working groups and more than 1,000 experts drawn from member companies
  • Regularly updated procedures, with a dedicated supervisory platform for standardisation.
UIC Technical Solutions for the operational railway

- PDF - 6.8 Mb

Solutions techniques pour le rail opérationnel

- PDF - 9.6 Mb


Design a better future: Vision of Rail 2030

The UIC presents this Vision 2030, painting the picture of how, given the right action and investment, we can design a better future where rail is the backbone of a sustainable mobility system. This inspiring vision, created by UIC Global Rail Sustainability Taskforce, describes a future where we are on track to decarbonise transport and a thriving railway has unleashed many benefits for society. The vision includes a call for action to help design this better future.

Design a better future: Vision of Rail 2030

- PDF - 6.8 Mb

Design a better future : La Vision du Rail 2030

- PDF - 6.4 Mb


CES Las Vegas 2023 – UIC Technical report

CES Las Vegas 2023 – UIC Technical report

- PDF - 1.7 Mb


Adaptation to climate change is becoming a major concern, shared worldwide, and the urgency of which has just been recalled by the IPCC. As a result, UIC published its “Vision of Rail in 2030”, encouraging the allocation of funds to invest in the improvements of railway infrastructure, rolling stock and services, as well as innovation to decarbonise operations, in order to drastically increase the number of trains, the number of passengers and freight carried worldwide. Innovation! That is the reason why CES Las Vegas is so important for the UIC.

UIC has been active at CES Las Vegas and CES Government since 2017, participating in conferences and panels, delivering keynote speeches, and supporting the promotion of rail.
In 2023, UIC increased its presence at CES even further. Thanks to CES Las Vegas 2023, it is possible for railway stakeholders from all over the world to identify the main trends in innovation.

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Wednesday 1 March 2023