Short name: UIC
Type of organisation: Non-Profit Association
The International union of railways (UIC, Union Internationale des Chemins de fer) is the worldwide organisation for international cooperation among railways and promotion of rail transport at a global level. Founded in 1922, it currently gathers more than 200 members on all 5 continents, among them rail operators, infrastructure managers or vehicle keepers.
UIC maintains close cooperation links with all actors in the rail transport domain all around the world, including manufacturers, railway associations, public authorities and stakeholders in other domains and sectors whose experiences may be beneficial to rail development. The UIC’s main tasks include understanding the business needs of the rail community, developing innovation programmes to identify solutions for those needs, as well as preparing and publishing a series of documents known as IRS (International Railway Standards, an evolution of the UIC Leaflets) that facilitate the implementation of the innovative solutions.
The specific areas of activity of UIC are:
• Promote railway interoperability, improve the overall coherence of the rail system and create new world standards for railways (including common standards with other transport modes);
• Develop and facilitate all forms of international cooperation among its railway members, providing forums and platforms for the sharing of best practices and the benchmarking of outcomes;
• Propose new ways to improve the technical and environmental performance of rail transport, with the objective to optimise costs and to contribute to environmental sustainability.
UIC is today organised around 4 major streams of activities, namely:
• Fundamental values, including Security, Safety and Environment Sustainability;
• Rail system, in charge of the technical aspects of the railway business.