Tuesday 14 May 2019

Development of the interface between UIC and OSJD – production of joint IRSs

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UIC teams representing the Standardisation Unit, Rail System and APRA (Asia Pacific Region Assembly) together with members of the Standardisation Platform met OSJD.

At the invitation of Russian Railways (RZD), the UIC Standardisation Platform Core team met in St Petersburg on 17 – 18 April 2019 with a range of points related to the migration plan for Leaflets to IRSs, the UIC Code, the Guidelines document setting out the managerial processes for the production of International Railway Solutions (IRSs) and the revision of the document M1 which in effect is the standard for standards, on the agenda.

In accordance with the Cooperation Plan for 2019 agreed between UIC & OSJD (Organisation of Cooperation of Railways), the opportunity was taken for the UIC team to meet with the OSJD team and to further the discussion linked to the conversion of the UIC-OSJD joint leaflets into IRS. This was all held over a very intense series of days just before Easter.

The chairman of the UIC Standardisation Platform, Mr Laurent Schmitt (SNCF) welcomed all the participants, thanked RZD for the extremely thorough arrangements and extended a special welcome to colleagues of the OSJD Committee (members of the UIC).

The UIC Standardisation Platform was informed that amongst the key items on the core UIC agenda are Standardisation, Digitalisation and High-Speed transport, all of which, along with freight transport being key activities to be developed jointly as part of the strategic partnership with OSJD.

A representative of the ISO TC 269 secretariat Mr Paul Tcshernjavskij was also invited. As agreed it was necessary to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each organisation. The Eurasian Railway Operating Community is very keen to develop not only freight traffic (see further on) but also high-speed passenger traffic and whilst this was not discussed in detail, there will be a further development in the near future.

The meetings were attended by representatives from the following railways and organisations:

  • Belarus Railway (BC)
  • Railway of Moldova (CFM)
  • Russian Railways (JSC RZD)
  • Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ)
  • International Standardisation Organisation (ISO)
  • International Union of Railways (UIC)
  • OSJD Committee
  • as well as the representatives of JR-East, RTRI, DB Cargo Nederland N.V. and SNCF

Some UIC-OSJD documents were analysed and discussed during the meetings. It was noted that IRS and ISO documents are produced following a similar structure which is considered as an asset for future UIC-OSJD collaboration in development of joint documents where the railways consider it would be an advantage to have the joint IRS produced as an ISO standard. This was part of a proposal presented by VNIIZHT who have been asked by RZD to analyse possible future opportunities.

In order to move forward, the meeting accepted to publish the completed part of IRS 50502 “Carriage of exceptional goods in international railway traffic with the participation of the 1435 mm and 1520 mm railways” and decided to develop the new version of IRS including the provisions for 1520 mm railway systems. This could either be as part of the main structure of the IRS or in a dedicated annexe. The working group of the UIC Freight Forum responsible for this IRS was represented at the meeting and will take the necessary action to enable this to happen.

As part of the effective liaison between the UIC, OSJD and ISO, it was noted that the UIC, with its Liaison A is a strong position for the railway operating community but it was noted that OSJD can have a Liaison B (observer) establishing a strong joint position for the sector.

The next meeting of UIC-OSJD Joint Group on IRS will be held from 2 – 3 October 2019 in Warsaw. There will be a one-day preliminary/catch-up meeting on 16 September 2019 in Paris, the day before the planned plenary meeting of the UIC Standardisation Platform at which OSJD will be invited to make a keynote presentation.

For further information please contact Vytautas Kinderis, Standardisation & East-West Relations Coordinator:


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