Position papers

UIP position paper on noise reduction

The International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP) recognises that noise is the most significant environmental burden of rail that affects not only society, but also the performance and perspectives of the whole railway system around Europe. With that in mind, UIP fully understands and supports the objective of reducing rail freight noise, but calls for a unified approach on Noise reduction at European level.

This position paper stresses the importance to carefully consider the impact of any future EU legislation and both future and existing national rail noise abatement programmes on transaction, operational and maintenance costs for the rail freight sector. Despite the fact that the level of concerns with regard to rail noise actually differs amongst the Member States, if we want to see a reduction of noise emissions in rail, without jeopardising further rail freight competitiveness and efficient cross border traffic, UIP asks for appropriate funding, suitable incentive schemes and harmonised implementation across Europe in order to promote the retrofitting of the existing wagons fleet.

UIP position paper on data exchange

Position Paper on a European Strategy for an Efficient Exchange of Rolling Stock Data in Rail Freight


UIP generally supports the goals expressed by the European Commission concerning the development of a Single European Railway Area, especially removing administrative and technical barriers and developing easy and common procedures at European level. This is particularly critical and important when it comes to the question of registers.

Following the work of the ERA Task Force on Telematics Applications and in parallel to the discussions on the TAF revision, it became evident that due to the existence of numerous registers for Rolling Stock, there is a need for a register architecture at European level. Most recently at the RISC66 held on January 23 and 24, 2013 in Brussels, Mr. Patrizio Grillo of DG MOVE reminded of the importance of the registers and invited the sector to consider alternative and best scenarios for each register.
UIP sees this as an opportune time to make public its views and recommendations on “how operational databases such as RSRD² could fulfill the sector’s needs for operational data and how such databases could interact with the registers” (as mentioned in DV61EN01 – Recommendation 5, presented and discussed at RISC63).

In the following position paper, UIP presents a recommendation for an efficient, low-cost solution to registers dedicated to Rolling Stock Data. This Position Paper is addressed to the European Commission with the aim to have it taken into account in the preparation of the new ERA Working Party on vehicle registers which is to be launched in September 2013.

Joint position paper on noise abatement and Swiss ban

CER – UIP – ERFA comments on the consultation - Swiss federal law on railway noise

CER, UIP and ERFA understand and support the intention of the Swiss government to reduce the problem of railway noise and speed up the processes of retrofitting the old and noisy brake block types of freight wagons. However, the measure foreseen (de facto ban of cast-iron brake blocks by January 1st 2020) in the draft law would cause severe problems for the European single market and will create intermodal as well as intra-modal distortion of competition.

CER, UIP and ERFA strongly believe that noise reduction measures should respect the single market. The ban of cast iron brake blocks as foreseen by the federal law from 2020 on would be a barrier to the single market.

Contrary to what is stated in the explanatory note of the Swiss Federal Office for Transport (BAV), it is unlikely that enough wagons and type of wagons (i.e. non-Swiss) will be equipped with composite brake blocks by 2020 in order to compose trains within, to, from and through Switzerland containing silent wagons only. Given the high percentage of non-Swiss wagons (50%) used today for the supply of Swiss shippers (import, export, internal) or running in transit through the country, the actual amount of wagons complying with the provisions laid down in the TSI Noise, the potential capacity of the manufacturing industry for new wagons and the difficult economic situation in general and of rail freight operators in particular it is even too optimistic to expect that the number of new wagons reaches 100 000 in 2020 (only 50% of the amount assumed by the BAV).

Furthermore it will not be economically possible for current foreign wagons to be retrofitted in time. In fact, it will prevent the majority of European wagons to be operated within, to, from or through Switzerland. As a result, rail freight traffic through or within Switzerland will most likely be negatively affected, with a massive impact not only on customers and foreign undertakings but also on Swiss railway companies which operate trains and foreign wagons.