Information published on 25 November 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 425.

Public Key Management Website (PKMW)

The Public Key Management Website (PKMW) is a site where rail companies can store their public keys that are used by ATMs, controllers, Smartphone applications, in order to read and validate the barcode tickets.

These public keys are part of public/private key pairs that are necessary to generate bar codes (such as for the 16-digit blue cards).

The private key is automatically created and remains inside the railway company system. The public key is automatically created by the same system as the private key, and is intended to be distributed to all partners or corporate partners (e.g. APPS with bar code reader, RUs, train controller...).

This site will also be used for other applications, such as creating barcodes to pass the security gates at stations (NS ...).

Four main features are necessary to guaranty a high quality of service:

  • The security of the website and the functionality of “key upload” in particular must be extremely high.
  • In contrast the “key download” function does not require the same vigilance.
  • A “form”, automatically pre-filled with the XML file uploaded, allows the manager key to check the consistency and validation of information related to each public key. It will also enable the manager to manually enter a public key if necessary.
  • The recording function in the “Registry” of TAP-TSI will be defined in a later batch of an application (in 2015).

At the initiative of the UIC passenger technical groups, it has been decided that UIC should play a central role in the process. Fabrice Setta, senior advisor representing the UIC passenger department, is the administrator, the sole appointed correspondent of railway undertakings and guarantees the secure upload of public keys to prevent fraud.

The PKMW offers an alternative to the railway undertakings that have a bilateral organisation with all its partners for their public keys, which is complex, time-consuming and does not provide good security.

All global railway undertakings can have access to this UIC service to publish their public keys.

Don’t hesitate to contact UIC for more information on the PKMW and its related processes.

For your information, the first public keys were published last week by BeNe Rail International NV; you can download them on the PKMW website https://railpublickey.uic.org

For more information please contact Fabrice Setta: setta@uic.org