Monday 15 November 2021

UIC Asia-Pacific workshop on standardisation held online on 14 October 2021

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The UIC Asia-Pacific workshop on standardisation was held on 14 October. This date is particularly meaningful as the international standardisation community celebrates World Standards Day on this day each year.

The workshop was attended by representatives of UIC member companies under the leadership of JSC “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy” – Kazakhstan Railways. Several key standardisation organisations, as well as UIC partners, international organisations and associations (UNESCAP, ASEAN, OSJD, EEC, TRACECA, CCTT, SSZD) took part in the workshop. The event featured speakers from Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Thailand and the US. Around 200 participants registered for the workshop, which was open to all UIC regions.

The workshop was dedicated to sharing knowledge on the structure, procedures and processes of IRS development and its scope of application and introducing Asia-Pacific members’ national standardisation systems. The objective was to facilitate discussion between representatives of international and regional standardisation organisations, regulators, the railway industry and operators.

The UIC Standardisation Platform is continuously extending its scope of activity and disseminates International Railway Solutions (IRSs) as standardisation documents to be applied on a voluntary basis for international and regional interoperability. The innovative nature of the IRS is characterised by its flexible structure. IRSs can easily be made compatible and compliant with any specific international or national standardisation system.

UIC Director General François Davenne opened the workshop together with Batyr Kotyrev, Chief Engineer at KTZ. Mr Kotyrev stressed that the platform was a unique forum for the application of new qualitative approaches in the development of railway standards. Mr Davenne emphasised the fact that the UIC Asia-Pacific region covers a number of different gauges, meaning that the various railway systems face challenges in terms of interoperability. Compatibility is therefore a topical issue for railways in the region. Concluding his remarks, Mr Davenne said that the only solution is to develop a common approach in order to reinforce interoperability.

The workshop was moderated by Simon Fletcher, Master of Ceremonies and UIC Director Europe and Chief Standardisation Officer, and was coordinated by Vincent Vu, UIC Director of Institutional Relations and Coordinator of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region.

The agenda included several sessions dedicated to:

  • UIC’s role in standardisation, including the development of regional interoperability and the role of standards (IRSs),
  • systems for national/regional standardisation, with presentations on the methodology for building standards in Europe and in Asia-Pacific, including standardisation activity at JR East, harmonising the Australian railway, and Malaysia’s rail standard development,
  • developments of UIC regional partners in the domain of standardisation, including the introduction of:
    • a standardisation system in the Republic of Kazakhstan,
    • the interstate standardisation system within the 1,520 mm railway gauge by the CIS Technical Committee (MTK 524),
    • the system of technical regulation in the Eurasian Economic Commission in the field of railway transport,
    • ASEAN cooperation towards seamless operation in SKRL,
    • Australian rail safety and the role of standards,
    • streamlining customs formalities for international railway transport – ESCAP initiatives.
  • technical applications, including presentations by the UIC Railway System Department on ‘Telecoms – standardising the new FRMCS’ and Wabtec Corporation on ‘Positive train control – experience and its impact’.

The participants were invited to answer a poll during the workshop. The results showed that most of the organisations represented currently use ISO standards and national regulations. 46% of the organisations use UIC leaflets/IRSs, while 97% of participants use ISO standards, among others.

For further information, please contact Vincent Vu, Director of Institutional Relations and Coordinator of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region, at

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