On 5 June 2013 the second meeting between UIC and the International Electrotechnical Committee (IEC) to establish stable cooperation between the two organisations was held in Paris. Participants in the meeting representing UIC included Mr Stefano Guidi and Mr Gianfranco Cau (respectively Chairman and Secretary of the UIC Standardisation Platform) together with Mr Hans Günther Kersten and Mr Simon Fletcher (Directors of the UIC Rail System Department and Coordinator for Europe); and representing IEC were Mr René Baillif, (IEC Technical Manager), Mr Franco Cavaliere (Chairman of TC9) and Mr Bernard Lerouge (Secretary of TC9).
The meeting was conducted through a very constructive approach from both sides. Firstly the role of the UIC Standardisation Platform was explained – that it is responsible on behalf of UIC for the standardisation strategies and for the steering and coordination of relations with other organisations and institutions.
After having recognised the intention and the will to cooperate in the field of Railway Standardisation, a few general principles ware clearly expressed. UIC and IEC are two complementary bodies and not competitors.
These fundamental principles were initially stated by IEC and are the necessary prerequisite for the following one underlined by UIC: it is agreed that the goal of such cooperation shall be geared towards the railway service and to its associated market; in other words the goal of the combination of UIC and IEC standards shall be addressed to improve passenger and goods transport and will implement a logic of complementarity. This point is particularly important as a common strong commitment of parties involved.
The complementarity will thus be based on the mutual recognition of the two sets of standards (UIC and IEC) deriving from a common work programme on defined topics of bilateral interest and on suitable symmetric tools. This approach reinforces the value and the importance of UIC standards through their increased implementation and introduces natural interfaces between UIC and IEC standards. Going in further detail this means identifying those interfaces – that for the Railway Operating Community are essential to unify the Railway Operating Rules – from the beginning of the work.
This approach requires reciprocal need and interest and will be developed in full reciprocity and governed by a Liaison A in both directions plus a specific Cooperation Agreement to be signed by UIC and IEC. The tools supporting the Agreement have to be pointed out but will be based on biannual strategic meetings including future work proposals from both sides to help to define these programmes and the priorities as well as the need to participate in the proper Advisory Groups etc. and the mutual invitation to the relevant parts of the Plenary Meetings.
The iter of this Cooperation Agreement is based on strong commitment from the two parties:
- Drafting before the 2nd week of July starting from the existing document including the mentioned concepts.
- Circulation and comment collection in the restricted UIC-IEC group and meeting on 25 July (Paris).
- Dispatching to the members of the two organisations asking comments by 8 September; 11 September meeting (Paris) to consider the comments and prepare the final draft to use as input document for IEC TC9 and UIC statutory meetings.
- The programme is to aim to have the document ready to be signed by the General Assembly in December.
In parallel with the UIC–IEC meeting two preliminary specific points of cooperation were identified:
- IEC 61375 (Train communication network – 1st edition 1999)
The Application layer of the protocol was edited by a UIC WG with the collaboration of IEC members. UIC Leaflet 556 (Information transmission within the train) is a whole with IEC 61375. UIC has a project of revising Leaflet 556 and the cooperation of IEC would be extremely important. At the same time UIC also has an ongoing project for TCMS that would be important to integrate with the new edition of IEC 61375.
- IEC 62580 – Onboard multimedia systems for railway (Parts 3, 4 & 5 relating to crew, passengers and maintainer orientated services)
New Proposals on Energy Management (Metering, Saving and Braking energy recovery). Other parts of the standard relating to “guide to use”: Operational interfacing and UIC contribution of vital importance.
These are two symmetric examples to prove the reciprocal possibilities of cooperation.
A previous success story is the work on IEC 61133 (Rules for the testing of electric rolling stock on completion of construction and before entry into service – 1st edition 1992), which were edited with the strong collaboration of UIC members under the frame of a category A liaison.
Now there are the conditions to lay a more solid foundation for the Agreement between UIC and IEC.