The latest edition of the ‘OSJD Bulletin’, the official publication of the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways OSJD based in Warsaw, presents a comprehensive article by Mr Tadeusz Szozda, Chairman of the OSJD Committee on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary (1956-2016) of this international railway organisation.
In June 1956 Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, hosted the Conference of Ministers dealing with railway transport in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, People’s Republic of Hungary, German Democratic Republic, People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolian People’s Republic, People’s Republic of Poland, People’s Republic of Romania, USSR and Czechoslovak Republic. The conference took the unanimous decision to establish the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways (according to the Russian abreviation OSJD). This was the first session of the body known as “Ministerial Conference” of OSJD.
Over time, membership increased to 28 Member countries and welcomed in addition 7 railways from Europe with observer status (SNCF, DB, VR, ZS, OSE, GySEV, FPC Russia) as well as over 40 affiliated enterprises.
OSJD organises cooperation among its members in the fields of Policy and Development Strategy, transport Law, Freight and Passenger Traffic, Infrastructure and Rolling Stock, Coding and IT. Strong focus was placed among others on the development of Euro-Asian freight corridors, legal harmonisation between SMGS and CIM regimes, standardisation and interaction between 1520- and 1435 mm railway systems, cooperation with international organisations and associations from the rail sector.
UIC has a long tradition of fruitful cooperation with the OSJD, in the past – as Europe was divided – through a number of joint OSJD/UIC working groups (Automatic Coupling, IT and Coding, etc.) and in recent years in the framework of a cooperation agreement first signed in 1995 followed by the new Memorandum of Cooperation signed between UIC Director General Mr Loubinoux and the Chairman of the OSJD Committee Mr Szozda on 23 February 2016 in Geneva at UNECE Headquarters.
UIC Director General Jean-Pierre Loubinoux expresses his warmest congratulations and wishes on behalf of UIC to its partner organisation in Warsaw in this year of the 60th anniversary of OSJD. He recalls: “the recent Memorandum of Cooperation signed in 2016 in Geneva confirms a collaboration of over 50 years, whilst adapting it to the context of the 21st century and focusing on the fundamental aspects of the railways which are the long distance corridors, standardisation, innovation and interoperability. The years to come will bring positive results from a close and fruitful cooperation between both organisations, for the maximum benefit of the entire railway community”.