The purpose of this project is to define the requirements for a gauge changeover system while taking into account existing solutions (CAF Brava, DB-Rafil, SUW 2000, and Talgo) with an emphasis on technical, economic and logistical aspects as well as the benefits for operators and railways. The project is important for development in passenger and freight transport and facilitates interoperability by offering technical solutions to help overcome technical barriers between rail networks with different track gauges.
It should also set new technical and operational standards for the interfaces between railways with track gauges of 1435mm, 1520mm and 1668mm.
There is a significant overlap with the work of an ERA ERA European Railway Agency Working Group (1520) launched in 2006, which includes representatives from 7 different EU member states. The 1520 WG is attempting to determine whether railways with a track gauge of 1520mm require a separate TSI TSI Technical Specifications for Interoperability or whether this system can be integrated into the TSIs that are currently being developed. Background information
A UIC study carried out in 2001 reviewed the possibility of developing a common infrastructure for different gauge changeover systems (TALGO, DB/RAFIL Typ V and PKP/SUV). Technical and economic aspects were also to be taken into account. The results showed that two systems (DB/RAFIL and PKP/SUW) are technically compatible but the three systems that existed at the time (and their associated equipment) were not completely compatible. A common infrastructure seemed feasible but would require modifications to the variable gauge wheel sets and the gauge change devices of the existing systems. This study was unable to put forward a simple, cost-effective solution for a common infrastructure for gauge changeover systems.
The aim of the “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” project is to establish requirements for gauge changeover systems, while taking into account the most up-to-date technology and the importance of interoperability, in order to guarantee optimum use in specific parts of Europe. These requirements shall serve towards developing a joint solution for the three existing track gauges (Spanish broad gauge, Russian broad gauge and UIC standard gauge) which is viable for both passenger and freight transport. To this end, cooperation between UIC and OSJD OSJD Organisation for the Collaboration between Railways (OSZhD) is essential.
The project results are to consist of technical requirements for gauge changeover systems that act as a basis for the development of compatible systems which fulfil the requirements of the different transport types.
In addition to the technical requirements for gauge changeover systems, the results will include cost-effectiveness reports (based on a cost-benefit analysis), which take into consideration the volume of traffic, the type of transport and the operational processes at system interfaces, as well as factoring in market interests and synergy effects
Status and activities
The project consists of the following 4 work phases:
- Feasibility study
- Analysis, definition of requirements, cost-benefit analysis and legal aspects
- Survey of current specifications for wagons with automatic gauge changeover systems
- Results and recommendations
By the end of 2011: The feasibility study was completed and serves as a basis for further work. The UIC/OSJD “Automatic Gauge Changeover Systems” Joint Working Group (AGCS JWG) was proposed in order to improve cooperation between the two organisations.
To this end, it was decided at the Conference of the OSJD Directors-General in April 2011 that the OSJD railways would actively participate in such a UIC/OSJD Joint Working Group.
The UIC-OSJD Joint Working Group (AGCS JWG) was activated by the OSJD Committee at a kick-off meeting in Warsaw in November 2011. In the meeting, rules (internal regulations) for the work of the UIC-OSJD Joint Working Group were drawn up and a work programme for 2012 was drafted.
Planned activities related to the work programme for 2012:
- Issue a call for tender for a consultant and assess the bids on the basis of the feasibility study and the work schedule for the UIC/OSJD Joint Working Group.
- Begin the market study: identify market interests via surveys on commercial use and synergy effects, etc.
- Profitability and cost-benefit analysis
- Summary of existing, modernised and newly developed systems together with empirical values from users.
February 2012: At the first meeting of the AGCS Joint Working Group on 28/29 February 2012 at UIC headquarters in Paris, it was agreed to invite tenders for the forthcoming studies forming part of work packages 1 to 5. To this end, a letter containing a description of tasks was agreed upon which was published on the websites of UIC, OSJD and their members and is available to download.
The final tender documents are in the process of being drawn by an editorial group and are to be published on the websites of UIC, OSJD and their members and be available to download by 30 April 2012.
The assessment of any bids received and the decision by the AGCS JWG on the allocation of work.
Members of the UIC/OSJD Joint Working Group (JWG AGCS)
UIC members: ADIF, DB Systemtechnik GmbH, DB Schenker Rail GmbH, RENFE, VR Group Ltd.
OSJD members: KTZ, LDZ PKP Cargo, PKP-IntercityS. A., Russian Railways JSC (RZD), “VNIIZhT” (JSC) und UZ
Meeting schedule for 2013:
06 - 07 March 2013, UIC, MADRID, Spain
22- 23 May 2013, OSJD Committee, Warsaw
11 - 12 September 2013, UIC HQ, Paris
4-5 December 2013, OSJD Committee, Warsaw
Contact person: Jürgen GEISSLER
Senior Advisor RSF Rolling Stock