Information published on 10 April 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 286.

Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems: UIC/OSJD Joint Working Group

  • Interoperability

The purpose of this project is to define the requirements for a gauge changeover system while taking into account existing solutions with a focus on technical, economic and logistical aspects as well as the benefits for operators and railways. The project is important for development in passenger and freight transport and facilitates interoperability by offering technical solutions to help overcome technical differences between rail networks with different track gauges.
It should also set new technical and operational standards for the interfaces between railway lines with track gauges of 1435mm, 1520mm and 1668mm.

The aim of the “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” project is to establish requirements for gauge changeover systems while taking into account the most up-to-date technology and the importance of interoperability. These requirements shall serve towards developing a joint solution for the three existing track gauges (Spanish, Russian and UIC standard 1435mm track gauges) as well as passenger and freight traffic.
In addition to the technical requirements for gauge changeover systems, the solutions include cost-effectiveness predictions (based on a cost-benefit analysis), which take the volume of traffic, the type of transport and the operational processes at system interfaces into consideration, as well as factoring in market interests and synergy effects.
To this end, cooperation between UIC and OSJD is essential.

So far a UIC feasibility study has been completed, which is to serve as a basis for future analysis.
In order to improve cooperation, the “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” Joint Working Group between UIC and OSJD (“AGCS JWG”) was founded in a kick-off meeting in November 2011 in the OSJD Committee and a work programme that would come into force in 2012 was adopted.
It was also decided at this meeting to let third parties carry out some tasks as consultants. The AGCS JWG experts will therefore provide specialist support to this consultancy work and assess solutions.

The first meeting of the “AGCS JWG” took place on 28 and 29 February at UIC HQ in Paris under the leadership of the UIC Rail System Forum (Rolling Stock Sector) and began with the preparation of tender documents. A letter regarding publication and prior information for interested applicants was compiled for publication on the websites of UIC, OSJD and their members.
An editorial group is in the process of drawing up the requirements and tender documents, which will be published on the UIC and OSJD websites by 30 April 2012.

The members of the UIC/OSJD Joint Working Group are:

  • For UIC: ADIF, DB Systemtechnik GmbH, DB Schenker Rail GmbH, RENFE, VR Group Ltd.
  • For OSJD: KTZ, LDZ PKP Cargo, PKP-Intercity SA, JSC Russian Railways (RZD), “VNIIZhT” and UZ

Further action

The next short-term actions will be to draw up and publish tender documents and to assess any incoming offers. The “AGCS JWG” experts will submit proposals for the allocation of work on the basis of this assessment. The publication of tender documents on the UIC and OSJD websites is scheduled for 30 April 2012.
The following meeting dates have been scheduled for the “AGCS JWG”:

  • 30 – 31 May – OSJD Committee in Warsaw
  • 3 – 4 October – UIC HQ in Paris
  • 11 – 12 December – OSJD Committee in Warsaw

For more information please contact Jürgen Geissler, Senior Advisor RSF Rolling Stock: