Information published on 7 July 2020 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 699.

UIC releases its 2019 activity report

  • Sustainable development
  • Digital
  • Innovation
  • IRS
  • Products & Services
  • Promoting

UIC has just published its activity report 2019: https://bit.ly/3gvPv3g

This new report joins the corpus of UIC strategic documents already published this year – the UIC Work programme 2020-2022 https://bit.ly/2C4cqn5 or the one to come which will specify the operational technical solutions delivered by UIC.

UIC Chairman Gianluigi Castelli said: “Our priorities and focus areas are clear: from creating innovation through projects and further developing our technical/digital platform, to promoting sustainable, carbon-free transport and – most importantly – transparency towards our members and stakeholders at large.”

UIC is tasked with promoting rail transport and developing the railway system to support the strategies of its members: rail operators, infrastructure managers, railway service providers and other industry stakeholders.

UIC has been an SSO (standards setting organisation) since its creation in 1922, and technical harmonisation of the railway system remains one of its core objectives. Its members — the operators of the world’s railways — have, over the years, developed the “UIC code” comprising UIC leaflets, which define common rules to ensure safety and efficiency in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the railway system. Many of these rules are also applied outside the railway operating community. They are the outcome of work conducted independently by railway operators in order to harmonise the railways in a feasible and efficient manner.

IRSs (International Railway Solutions) are progressively replacing UIC leaflets and are being adapted to incorporate regional variations. Nevertheless, the objective underlying the documentation remains unchanged: it helps railway companies in their aim of serving society and the economy. Representing a rich and diverse membership across the globe, UIC relies on its collective knowledge and technical expertise to develop and enhance the reputation of the railway sector so that it is associated with flexibility, simplicity, freedom and comfort. These concepts go hand in hand with UIC members’ fundamental values, such as safety, security and solidarity.

This activity report 2019 highlights the extent to which the joint efforts of the sector are bearing fruit and contributing to the development of rail transport.

With the support of its many partners throughout the world, UIC also serves as a platform for its members to showcase rail transport as the transport mode of the future: a future that will be characterised by low-carbon transport and in which sensible use of multimodality will enable reduction of pollution and congestion and free up public space in our cities.

The activity report consists of four sections: UIC Areas of activity, where it is summarised what UIC has done in the various domains; UIC’s regional activity (UIC is composed of 6 regions), UIC support services.

The report also mentions key figures: in 2019, UIC published 43 International Railway Solutions (IRS). Speaking about standardisation, a dedicated part on this key issue for UIC shows that it has been central to UIC’s core activity for the past 100 years and that is one of the main reasons why UIC was established. The first Leaflet was published in 1928 and the assets have steadily evolved since then.
In order to ensure that these important assets remain current and representative of the business model of the modern railway, a significant programme of work was established in order to modernise them and to ensure that they are focusing on the topics relative to the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the services provided by railways to their customers.

Part of this programme is the creation of IRSs as the new UIC product and ensuring a coordinated migration of the Leaflets to IRSs.