eRail Freight Intermodal

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In 2008, about 20 RUs committed themselves to implement paperless transports. A project team was created with delegates of CIT and CER Customs working group and SGs from UIC. RAILDATA was tasked to work on the technical specifications including:

  • message structure;
  • data catalogue;
  • message flow.

The system built on the pre-existing Orfeus system operated by Raildata.
The legal ownership of the project and the results (technical specifications and IT message) belong to UIC and its members. The work done will be in free access and disseminated as far as possible to become a real standard.


The project team delivered in March 2009 a complete version of the technical specifications and at the same time RAILDATA created an Electronic Consignment Note (ECN) message.

As of 2015 DB Schenker Rail Deutschland, Fret SNCF, Trenitalia, ČD Cargo and DB Schenker Rail Nederland use the paperless transport using the Electronic consignment note for all conventional transports.

Next Steps

Geographical Scope Extension in 2016 to Renfe, Rail Cargo Austria and Green Cargo

Functional adaptations

  • include Customs Data for Transit Declaration
  • adapt to legal requirements for dangerous goods
  • make compatible with CIM-SMGS for intercontinental transports
  • distinguish between Successive and Substitute Carriers

More information on the ECN in Orfeus here.

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