1829 “Rocket” Stephenson

1829

1829 “Rocket” Stephenson

The “Rocket” locomotive by George Stephenson reaches 50km/h. Since the origin of railways in Europe during the Industrial Revolution at the beginning of the 19th Century, the speed of passengers trains was an essential argument to compete. Railways were conceived in the first half of the 19th century, mainly (though…

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1843 First international line

1843

1843 First international line

The first ever international railway line is that which linked Liège and Cologne in 1843.

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1846 First association: Prussian Railways

1846

1846 First association: Prussian Railways

In 1846, under the impetus of the Berlin Railway Company, 10 German national authorities founded a Prussian railway association with the aim of streamlining their operations. The following year, the railways from the constituent territories of the German Confederation (44 German networks and four networks from the Austro-Hungarian Empire –…

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1872 European Passenger Train Timetable Conference (CEH)

1872

1872 European Passenger Train Timetable Conference (CEH)

From 1872, the European Passenger Train Timetable Conference defined the times of passenger trains, particularly for cross-border operations, as well as the consist of international trains and connections with domestic services. Network representatives met each year with a view to ensuring speedy, punctual, safe and comfortable passenger services.

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1875 Bern conferences

1875

1875 Bern conferences

In 1875 the Federal Council – Switzerland’s government – took the initiative to invite the governments and railway administrations (public and private) of the European states to an international conference in Bern, Switzerland, in May-June 1878. This first conference was followed by two others in 1881 and 1886, also held…

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1882 Conference for the Technical Unity of railways

1882

1882 Conference for the Technical Unity of railways

In August 1882, following the inauguration of the Saint-Gothard Railway which so clearly illustrated the railways’ international calling, the Swiss Federal Council invited the governments from the adjoining states to an international conference of experts on the technical unity of railways. On 21 October 1882, the state representatives signed a…

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1919 RIV/RIC

1919

1919 RIV/RIC

In 1876 an international union for the exchange of rolling stock was established in Brussels, which was responsible mainly for the repatriation of empty freight cars, the carriage of train parts, the repair of damage, and the payment of bonuses and insurance claims, etc. Members included the railways of Germany,…

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1919 Treaty of Versailles

1919

1919 Treaty of Versailles

The beginnings of UIC go back to the period immediately following the First World War. When the Paris Peace Conference took place in early 1919 to prepare the forthcoming Treaty of Versailles, the allied powers entrusted a Commission on the International Regime of Ports, Waterways and Railways with the task…

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1920 Recommendations proposed after the Treaty of Versailles

1920

1920 Recommendations proposed after the Treaty of Versailles

The Council of the League of Nations (LON), officially formed in 1919 and established in Geneva in 1920, tasked a temporary committee for communication and transit with preparing proposals for “the creation of an organisation which will form part of the LON to address issues related to communication and transit…and…

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1922 Genoa International Conference

1921

1922 Genoa International Conference

The international conference in Genoa (April – May 1922) proposed that the standardisation of European railways be accelerated by conferring the continued management of this issue, previously given to diplomats, on the network operators. And it was France which found itself entrusted with the task of preparing an international conference…

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1921 Portorose Conference

1921

1921 Portorose Conference

The conference of Portorose in Italy (now Portorož in Slovenia), which in late 1921 declared itself in favour of an “association” of railways, took place at a seaside resort in modern-day Slovenia in the aftermath of a war that saw the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of…

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1922 Paris Conference, birth of UIC

1922

1922 Paris Conference, birth of UIC

The Paris Conference was held from 17 to 20 October 1922 at the headquarters of the French Society of Civil Engineers, with the participation of 27 countries and 46 networks as well as two representatives from the League of Nations. With the exception of Finland which could not attend, all…

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1923 UIC declared as association

1923

1923 UIC declared as association

The International Union of Railways – the nascent UIC – was composed of three management bodies: a General Assembly, an Executive Board comprising 12 members and the chairman (whose mandate began the same day), and a permanent general secretariat based in Paris. At the proposal of the British delegate, Alfred…

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1923 UIC 1st Headquarters

1923

1923 UIC 1st Headquarters

24 rue Georges Bizet was the first UIC Headquarters building until January 1931, when UIC moved to 10 rue de Prony, 75017. © Photorail – SNCF

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1926 First UIC logo

1926

1926 First UIC logo

In July 1923, the International Union of Railways (UIC) was officially pronounced an association formed in accordance with the French law of 1901. In 1926, it acquired a logo which would be re-worked or updated on several occasions – in 1950, 1985, 2003 and most recently in 2010 (the new…

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1931 UIC 2nd Headquarters

1931

1931 UIC 2nd Headquarters

10 rue de Prony was the second UIC headquarters building from January 1931 to 1963, then UIC moved to 116 rue Jean rey, Paris 15°. © Photorail – SNCF

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1932 – 103 UIC Leaflets

1932

1932 – 103 UIC Leaflets

The work carried out within the five permanent technical committees resulted in the publication of “UIC leaflets”, technical documents whose application was either obligatory or optional. These technical leaflets constituted the beginning of an international railway “code”, also known in practice as the “UIC Code”. Initially published in French and…

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1939 UIC counts 51 networks from 33 countries and 400,000 km of lines

1939

1939 UIC counts 51 networks from 33 countries and 400,000 km of lines

Amongst the subjects benefiting from technical cooperation and international harmonisation were the conditions governing the use of continuous braking ; the safety of vehicles operating under catenaries; new signalling standards; the study of the risks run by railway staff ; the easing of financial exchange between railway companies (following a…

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1949 Intercontainer-Interfrigo

1949

1949 Intercontainer-Interfrigo

Interfrigo (a refrigerated and temperature-controlled transport company founded in 1949) and Intercontainer, an international combined transport company (known today as ICF: Intercontainer-Interfrigo); and the Europabus grouping, comprising the international tourist coach services operated by 14 railway companies. The European Pallet Pool (EPP) and the European Box Pallet Pool (EBPP) managed…

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1949 the UN grants UIC consultative status

1949

1949 the UN grants UIC consultative status

In 1949, the United Nations Organisation (Economic and Social Council) granted UIC consultative status to the UN to represent the railway sector worldwide. This administrative act was of symbolic value: it was the first mandate given to UIC by the international community to represent and promote this mode of transport…

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1950 Eurofima

1950

1950 Eurofima

The company Eurofima, was formed in 1956 by 13 networks to facilitate the financing of rolling stock acquisition and conversion;

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1950 ORE

1950

1950 ORE

In the area of technical study and research, UIC created its Office for Research and Experiments (ORE) in 1950 in Utrecht (Netherlands). The latter was in charge of carrying out studies for the purposes of standardisation and, more generally, any studies and experimentation work necessary for the projects coordinated by…

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1951 EUROP Wagon Pool

1951

1951 EUROP Wagon Pool

The EUROP WagonPool, a European operations pool initially bringing together the railways of France and Germany, and subsequently expanding to include a dozen or so networks; the famous Trans-Europ Express (TEE) grouping, born of a Dutch initiative with seven participating networks and 13 routes launched in 1957.

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1956 Creation of OSJD

1956

1956 Creation of OSJD

in 1956, under the impetus of the Soviet Union, the socialist countries created the Organization for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD in Russian), headquartered in Warsaw. Most of the OSJD member railways (bar the USSR, North Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba, etc.) were also members of UIC; this was notably the…

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1958 Trans-Europ Express

1958

1958 Trans-Europ Express

The creation in 1958, against the backdrop of the signing of the Treaty of Rome (1957), of a high-quality Trans Europ Express (TEE) network remains a significant milestone in the development of a trans-European rail network serving the citizens of this new community, offering passengers uniform quality standards on all…

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1960 Trans Europ Express Marchandises

1960

1960 Trans Europ Express Marchandises

Under the impetus of its passenger and freight commercial committees, UIC defined train networks with a European seal of approval, which offered customers standardised quality criteria on all the connections served by these trains. For freight, this was the Trans-Europe Express Freight network (TEEM, formed in 1961) and EurailCargo in…

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1961 Euro pallets and UIC other standards for carriages and wagons

1961

1961 Euro pallets and UIC other standards for carriages and wagons

1963 Inauguration of the actual UIC HQ

1963

1963 Inauguration of the actual UIC HQ

The current headquarters of the international railway organisation at 16 rue Jean Rey, an exceptional location near the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars, were inaugurated in 1963.

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1963 Inauguration of the actual UIC HQ

1963

1963 Inauguration of the actual UIC HQ

On 20 September 1960, the chairman of the German Railways Heinz Maria Oeftering, who had succeeded Louis Armand as UIC chairman, laid the foundation stone of the new building, accompanied by the then SNCF chairman André Ségalat. Construction of the new headquarters was part-financed by loans from 11 railways, and…

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1963 Tour of the building and member contributions

1963

1963 Tour of the building and member contributions

The current headquarters of the International Union of Railways (UIC), located at 16, rue Jean Rey in Paris’ 15th district, and near the Champs de Mars, was inaugurated in 1963. It is UIC’s third headquarters building, having previously been located at rue Bizet and rue de Prony. One particularly interesting…

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1964 Shinkansen- First High Speed line

1964

1964 Shinkansen- First High Speed line

The advantages of high speed rail operations were first identified during the period prior to the Second World War, in particular in the light of the technical progress made in the areas of electric traction and aerodynamics. Following further developments in electrical supply and traction during the 1950s (it is…

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1972 UIC 50th Aniversary

1972

1972 UIC 50th Aniversary

1972 Interrail

1972

1972 Interrail

The InterRail pass, heavily associated with the idea of international mobility and freedom of young travellers, was established at UIC in 1972 to mark the association’s 50th anniversary. The InterRail pass has considerably evolved in format to adapt to new market circumstances, but it still exists today and is run…

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1978 RIV/RIC integrated to UIC

1978

1978 RIV/RIC integrated to UIC

© Christophe Recoura

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1981 TGV

1981

1981 TGV

In 1981, the TGV Sud-Est was opened on the new Paris-Lyon line, covering 417 km and operating at speeds of up to 270 km/hr. It was followed by the TGV Atlantique (1989 – 1990), travelling at 300 km/hr, and the TGV Nord in 1993. The first routes in both Japan…

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1987 Eurocity & Trans-Euro Night

1987

1987 Eurocity & Trans-Euro Night

For passengers, the EuroCity (EC, launched in 1987) and Trans-Euro Night (TEN) trains offered these uniform quality standards.

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1990 ERTMS

1990

1990 ERTMS

At the instigation of UIC and under the aegis of the European Union, the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) was set up at the beginning of the 1990s. ERTMS comprises ETCS, the European Train Control System, and GSM-R, a radio communiation system specifically for railways. The idea was to…

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GSM-R

1992

GSM-R

With implementation of GSM-R now well underway on Europe’s railways, and worldwide interest beyond its frontiers, the ERTMS/GSM-R project of the UIC has the task of maintaining the GSM-R specifications, developed under the EIRENE project, managing the UIC roll-out plan for the system and handling issues and problems that arise…

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1994 Channel Tunnel

1994

1994 Channel Tunnel

Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand inaugurated the Channel Tunnel on 6 may 1994. Inauguration Eurostar train sets left from London and Paris and made for the first time a junction in Calais.

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1996 Thalys

1996

1996 Thalys

C Christophe Recoura

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1997 UIC 75th Anniversary

1997

1997 UIC 75th Anniversary

2002 Establishment of EIM

2002

2002 Establishment of EIM

EIM, established in Brussels in 2002, also has as its aim the development of rail transport, advisory work to the European institutions on rail-related policy areas, and supporting bodies such as the European Railway Agency (ERA). UIC, whose members include both CER and EIM members, brings its contribution to bear…

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2007 High Speed reaches 574 Km/h in France

2007

2007 High Speed reaches 574 Km/h in France

© Hervé Aubert

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2009 UIC’s status as a single, global association is upheld by the new statutes

2009

2009 UIC’s status as a single, global association is upheld by the new statutes

The new statutes dispel all the ambiguities which had led to the prior dysfunction. They uphold the (unique) global calling of UIC, thus ending the Europe/World dichotomy, and define clear rules of governance. The General Assembly, which brings together all 200 members, constitutes the singular governing body of UIC, and…

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GCU

2009

GCU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the common principles of a certification system of the Entities in Charge of Maintenance (ECM) of Freight Wagons has been signed under patronage of the European Union, on May 14th 2009, in the premises of B-Holding, between 10 EU Members States. This MoU follows…

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2010 – 700 UIC Leaflets

2010

2010 – 700 UIC Leaflets

2010 EcoTransit and EcoPassenger

2010

2010 EcoTransit and EcoPassenger

On 5 November 2009 the UIC members signed a joint declaration stating that rail was part of the solution to combat CO2 emissions in the transport sector and that UIC and its members were committed to further strengthen their efforts in this area. The declaration was symbolically carried by train…

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2013 Marmaray Link

2013

2013 Marmaray Link

2013-2017 update of 120 leaflets into IRS

2013

2013-2017 update of 120 leaflets into IRS

2013 One belt one Road

2013

2013 One belt one Road

China is nevertheless keen to diversify its trading routes and in 2013 launched the project “One Belt, One Road”, aimed at stepping up connectivity and integrating trade routes with those of Eurasia. The project, which includes maritime and land components, as well as of course the New Silk Roads, is…

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2014 ATTI

2014

2014 ATTI

The ATTI SG is a UIC special group within the Freight Forum. It is made up of RUs, some of which are UIC members and some of which are not. It works on an independent basis, with only the General Assembly determining its remit.The ATTI SG sets the rules governing…

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MERITS

2014

MERITS

Multiple East-West Railway Integrated Timetable StorageMERITS is a single database containing timetable data for many different railway companies. The data is integrated and reproduced twice a week. MERITS is designed to provide rapid access for each railway company to all the data needed to produce timetables and to operate with…

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Maglev

2015

Maglev

Japan’s maglev train broke its own world speed record just days after it broke its previous 12-year-old record. The seven-car magnetic levitation train set a world record on 21 April when it hit 603km/hour and maintained this speed for 11 seconds. The train beat the 590km/hour speed it had set…

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2015 Digital Platform – DIGIM

2015

2015 Digital Platform – DIGIM

On 30 November, UIC officially launched the UIC Railway Digital Platform in the presence of more than 250 participants, including CEOs of UIC Members, representatives of railway research and railway activities, heads of digital activities within railway companies, journalists, etc. The conference was also available via streaming so that representatives…

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2016 UIC counts 200 Members

2016

2016 UIC counts 200 Members

The geographical area covered by UIC has constantly expanded since 1922. Beyond the initial group of 51 members comprising the railways of Europe and physically connected regions – Near and Middle-East, the Maghreb and Asia (the core of “active members”) – UIC has gradually established cooperative links with railways on…

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TOPRAIL

2016

TOPRAIL

In the context of steadily growing international tourism, TopRail is a UIC project that actively promotes railway tourism products by increasing the visibility of service offerings. This is accomplished by fostering close collaboration between stakeholders and their customers to encourage railway tourism opportunities. Railway tourism is able to offer a…

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Hyperloop

2018

The development of different Hyperloop initiatives in various regions of the world have raised some recurring questions, which address both technical and business aspects, as well as standardisation issues. UIC, as a worldwide transport forum, has identified the potential of Hyperloop systems as a new and disruptive guided ground system…

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FRMCS – 5G

2019

FRMCS – 5G

The first Global FRMCS conference The first Global FRMCS Conference took place on 14-15 May 2019 in Paris, UIC headquarters. This conference will be a unique opportunity to know about the current status of FRMCS specification and standardisation, to understand the global timeline of its introduction and to consider the operational…

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ECCO project

2019

ECCO project

Rail Freight Corridors (ECCO) UIC IRS on Rail Freight Forward Contingency Management handbook In 2019, UIC published the Contingency Management handbook for Railway Undertakings. This handbook was committed to by the Rail Freight Forward coalition (RFF), as mentioned in its vision paper “30 by 2030”. It outlines harmonised international contingency…

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ETCD Ticketing

2020

ETCD Ticketing

UIC, with the support of Hit Rail B.V, has developed a project for the provision of its Electronic Ticket Control Database (ETCD). The new service vastly improves the ability of railway companies to issue and control rail passenger tickets across a number of countries and will increase security and help…

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OSDM

2020

OSDM

In 2020, UIC completed the procurement process for the implementation of the PRIFIS replacement tool and the design of the new related specification called Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM). The OSDM Platform replaces the former PRIFIS international tariff distribution tool, a shared database containing prices and tariffs for non-reservation…

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ATO

2021

ATO

An online webinar, “Autonomous Technologies in Rail – Anticipating Expectations” was held on 9 June with over 400 registered participants, bringing together experts from four continents who shared their experience in research, development and implementation of autonomous railway systems for passengers and freight. Participants were provided with an overview during…

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DAC

2021

DAC

Digital automatic coupling (DAC) is one of the key elements for transformation of the European rail freight sector. The DAC will increase productivity, efficiency and service quality, either directly or as an enabler, thereby increasing competitiveness. Together with smart capacity increases, DAC will be a game changer in shifting more…

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1987 HERMES

2022

1987 HERMES

HERMES constituted the first project designed to connect member railways’ IT systems. The first set of functionalities related to centralised traffic management, electronic seat reservation, etc

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2022: UIC celebrates its 100th Anniversary

2022

2022: UIC celebrates its 100th Anniversary

2022 UIC promotes rail worldwide through international events

2022

2022 UIC promotes rail worldwide through international events

UIC also promotes rail transport worldwide through a chain of international events, congresses, conferences and seminars, tackling specific issues in railway development. Depending on their subject, these events may be aimed at political and economic decision-makers, representatives of international and regional organisations, investors, manufacturers and universities from around the globe….

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Shift2Rail

2022

Horizon 2020 and Shift2Rail are just two of the projects where universities are directly involved in partnership with UIC. We could also mention ERRAC (European Rail Research Advisory Council), the technical platform set up by the European Union to cater for the needs of its members with regard to rail…

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Projets EU

2022

120 Working groups with 1500 experts

2022

Partnerships with leading institutions and organisations

2022

Partnerships with leading institutions and organisations

Safety database

2022

Safety database

UIC records descriptions of significant railway accidents in its Safety Database. All UIC members are invited to participate on a voluntary basis.The Safety Database contains information on more than 40,000 accidents in 33 countries. For further information, please visit the dedicated website: https://safetydb.uic.org

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1995 Raildata

2022

1995 Raildata

RailData is a special group of the International union of railways (UIC). The main purpose of RailData is to develop and run central IT systems for European freight railway undertakings. There are currently five main IT systems in production: ORFEUS (Open Rail Freight EDI User System) – CIM consignment note…

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Excellence in Railway Publication Awards

2022

Excellence in Railway Publication Awards

The International Union of Railways (UIC) is pleased to announce the launch of the 2022 edition of the competition which celebrates excellence in Railway publications. Following on from the success of previous events, the scope of this one is extended to a wider range of documents. The aim is to…

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SDG Rail Index

2022

SDG Rail Index

Rail Sustainability Index project The Rail Sustainability Index (RSi) is a new tool being designed for and with the global rail community. The previously named ‘SDG Rail Index’ tool will provide the UIC members with a unique rating system and a supportive digital platform based on the Sustainable Development Goals of…

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