Information published on 12 March 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 336.

“Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” Project

UIC/OSJD Joint Working Group (JWG AGCS), (Madrid, 6 – 7 March 2013)

  • Interoperability

The purpose of this project is to define the requirements of a gauge changeover system, taking account of existing solutions and focusing on technical, economic and logistical aspects as well as on the benefits for users and railways. The project is relevant to the development of passenger and freight transport and contributes to interoperability in that it offers technical solutions enabling the technical barriers between rail networks with varying track gauges to be overcome.

The aim of the “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” project is to define the requirements of a gauge changeover system whilst considering the latest technologies, all in the context of interoperability. These requirements should help develop a common outcome for passenger and freight transport for the three existing gauges (Spanish broad gauge, UIC standard gauge, and Russian broad gauge).
In addition to the technical requirements for a gauge changeover system, the project outputs will also contain a cost-efficiency appraisal (based on a cost/benefit analysis) taking into consideration traffic volumes, types of traffic, operational processes at system interfaces, market interests, and synergies.
To this end, collaboration between the two organisations (UIC and OSJD) is essential.

In order for the two organisations (UIC/OSJD) to collaborate, the “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” Joint Working Group (JWG AGCS) agreed a programme of work. The group also decided to entrust the execution of some of the tasks to third parties such as consultants.

Following an international call for tender with quotes received from twelve bidders located in Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Spain, the firms INECO (Spain), WU-Vienna (Austria) and VNIIZhT (Russia) were selected. Contracts were concluded with the three successful bidders, with Tasks 2 and 4 to be executed by INECO in collaboration with VNIIZhT, and Tasks 2 and 3 to be executed by WU-Vienna in collaboration with VNIIZhT. Tasks 1 and 5 will be handled by INECO alone.

At the JWG AGCS meeting on 6/7 March 2013, held in Madrid at the invitation of ADIF, the parties to the various contracts introduced themselves and described how they planned to collaborate. Work has already begun and the first outcomes are expected in late May 2013.

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

UIC members: ADIF, DB Systemtechnik GmbH, DB Schenker Rail GmbH, RENFE, VR Group Ltd.

OSJD members: KTZ, LDZ, PKP Cargo, PKP-IntercityS. A., Russian Railways JSC (RZD), “VNIIZhT” (JSC)

Contracting parties: INECEO, WU-Vienna, VNIIZhT

Heads of Delegation: Jürgen Geissler (UIC), Viktor Gutovski (OSJD)

The following JWG AGCS meetings are set to be held during 2013:

  • 22 – 23 May, OSJD Committee, Warsaw
  • 11 – 12 September, UIC HQ, Paris
  • 4 – 5 December, OSJD Committee, Warsaw

For further information please contact Jürgen Geissler, UIC Rail System Forum Senior Advisor, Rolling Stock: geissler@uic.org